The following are milestones in your child’s development of emergent literacy skills.
8 – 12 months
- May show interest by looking at books that have very familiar pictures.
- Looks at pictures in books for very short periods of time when named by an adult.
- Looks at pictures in books when named by an adult and may point and make sounds.
- Responds to songs and rhymes by vocalizing or singing along.
1 – 2 Years
- Turns pages in books more than one at a time.
- Pats or points to a few pictures in a book, especially when named by an adult.
- Shows interest in simple stories for brief periods of time.
- Begins to name colorful pictures.
2 – 3 Years
- Knows the function and use of written language, that words have meaning and purpose.
- Begins to name black and white pictures.
- Points to and names many common pictures in books when named by an adult.
- Enjoys having a favorite book or books read over and over again.
- Enjoys books that have repeatable and predictable patterns, catchy phrases, and rhymes (e.g., Dr. Seuss books).
- Begins to sit alone and looks at books.
- Turns pages one at a time.
- Knows that books have a front and back.
- Knows how to open and hold books.
- Knows the direction of print (e.g. left to right in English, right to left in Hebrew).
- Listens to and enjoys being read to for longer periods of time (between 5–15 minutes).
3 – 4 Years
- Recognizes familiar print such as restaurant logos, names on cereal boxes, street signs and may identify them (e.g. “That says Coke!”)
- Pretends to read books by holding the book, turning the pages, and saying some words.
- Recognizes and may say words that rhyme (e.g. bat-cat) and words that begin with the same sound (e.g. big, bad, bear).
- Enjoys being read to and participating in the book reading by filling in familiar parts (e.g., “I do not like green eggs and ham!”).
- Says rhyming words (e.g., “silly-willy…Hey, that matches!”) and word strings that begin with the same sound (e.g. diddy, doggie, dandy).
- Understands that a parent is reading the words in a book rather than just describing the pictures.
- Recognizes word boundaries by pointing to spaces between words.
- Pretends to read a storybook usually by having it memorized.
- Demonstrates understanding that words can be divided into smaller parts by tapping out or counting the number of syllables in a word.
- Names letters in the alphabet and numbers 1-10.
- May know that letters have sounds and the sounds that some letters make.
- Identifies first sounds in spoken words (e.g. “Ball begins with the ‘b’ sound).
- Begins to point to specific letters on a page.
- May read some familiar words by sight.
1 – 2 Years
- Holds a large marker or crayon.
- May scribble, especially when another person is writing.
2 – 3 Years
- Scribbles using wavy and circular lines.
- Writes by drawing and scribbling.
3 – 5 Years
- Experiments with scribbling letters, numbers, or letter-like forms (e.g., wavy lines, squiggles).
- Prints some large capital letters.
- Knows the difference between drawing and writing.
- Copies/imitates simple lines or shapes (e.g., circle, crosses).
- Understands that writing has a purpose.
- Writes one letter or word to stand for a whole sentence or idea.
- Prints own name, some letters of alphabet, and numbers.
- Writes strings of letters in no particular order (e.g., AzEysuX).
5 – 6 Years
- Uses 1 to 3 letters to spell words (e.g., P=piano, TA=train, PTE=pretty).
- Spells words like they sound (e.g., LETL=little, EGL=eagle).
Information provided by the America Speech-Language-Hearing Association