Home Using Speech Cue Cards Pre-literacy Learning Guides 4-5 years: Language and Literacy
4-5 years: Language and Literacy PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rachel Betzen   

4-5 years: Language and Literacy- Help your child understand story structure by asking him questions about the setting, sequence of actions, and resolution to the stories of his daily experiences. Then, act out the events of his day, or other stories with toys. Let children come up with alternate endings or other possible solutions to problems.


Helping children to think about “wh” questions (“what”, “where”, “when”, and “why”) regarding their personal experiences will build their knowledge of stories and help them better understand and remember what they hear and read. For example: when your pre-schooler wants to talk about what he did with John at school, ask about the setting (classroom, playground), what they did, and the order of events.

As your preschooler gains in his ability to tell stories independently, include questions that further increase a mental picture of what he is telling you. These might include questions about the weather, the other children around him, what someone was wearing, or other useful details.


You can support your child's initial learning of letters and sounds at home by labeling and identifying letters and sounds in books as you read with him, and helping him to identify and practice initial sounds in words. Magnet alphabet letters and letter puzzles are excellent toys for learning the alphabet and sounds. Label each letter and sound as your child plays with these letters. He is also now ready for more complex sound awareness games, such as rhyming, clapping syllables in words, and naming words that begin with certain sounds.


Easy to make word recognition games also can be a tremendous help to children at this stage. Print a few short words on index cards of common household items or furniture, and help your child label these things with the cards. You can make card games with your child matching words to photographs of these objects, and checking his work with the word matches throughout the house.


Encourage your child to keep a journal by drawing a picture of something that happened each day, and having you help him write a word or sentence to describe the picture. This is a great activity for young children who want to do “homework” alongside an older sibling. Journals are also an excellent way to document homeschool activities and gage progress with any age child, and can begin in the pre-school years.


Let your preschooler see the many ways you use reading and writing everyday, such as when making grocery lists, reading directions for assembling a new toy, or finding the right store on a map. He will be encouraged to grow in his reading and writing skills when he sees that these activities are important and useful to his parents.


In the later preschool years most children will speak in complete sentences, and by the time they enter Kindergarten you should understand almost everything a child says. In the later preschool and early kindergarten years, they will continue to experiment with the symbol units, or sounds of their language, but this time in a different way from when they were infants. These young explorers are beginning to figure out the code for reading and writing as they match letters to sounds and build recognition of simple written words.







Dallas Reading and Language Services

Rachel Betzen MA, CCC/SLP


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(214) 274-7455



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