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Print Awareness


*Please note: The list that follows contains general ideas for Pre-K Print Awareness activities. We are currently developing activity plans for each target in this category.

Block 1

  • Take opinion polls for which students mark choices on a survey form or put a card (with their name, or yes/no next to their name) in the appropriate pocket chart slot or on clipboards or graphs.
  • Encourage students to sort and hold up their printed name to signal their desire for turns (i.e., to go to bathroom, to line-up for recess, etc.).
  • Tape students’ names on the floor to designate the activity seating order.
  • Hang nametags at the classroom entrance so that students can take responsibility to find and wear their nametag as they enter.
  • Place words representing roles for the day or other choices on a pocket chart (helpers, jobs, etc.) where student names designate what they have chosen.
    • Provide two or three options and have students identify their own first name.
    • Help students identify the first two or three letters in their first name.


Block 2


Block 3


Block 4

Teaching Tips

  • As students see print in their everyday life, they begin to understand how it is used in the “real world” and that it is very important (e.g., creating a grocery list to go shopping, reading a calendar to know where to go next, reading a menu to order food).


Print awareness skills follow a developmental progression.


  • Read aloud every day. Play related games afterward (e.g., read a sentence and go back to count the words in it, the number of letters in some of the words, or the number of words in a short passage.
  • Fill the classroom with posters of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes. Place posters at eye level so students can “read around the room.”
  • Ask students to locate upper- and lowercase letters in a familiar book.
  • Organize magnetic letters into piles of upper- and lowercase, and use them to create simple names and words.
  • Encourage reading time at home with all family members participating. Accept any pretend reading and encourage pointing.
  • Encourage students to look in the fronts of books for distinguishing features particularly as they put books away in labeled baskets or in the classroom library).
  • Teach students to care for books and treat them with respect, including careful page turning, clean hands, organized storage, etc.
  • Provide opportunities to visit the library (with a library card) to check out books and be responsible for returning them on time to the proper person or receptacle.
  • Compare various forms of print and emphasize that print is used for various purposes (e.g., handwritten, printed, or electronic articles, books, recipes, letters etc.).
  • Engage students in daily activities that promote print awareness and develop CAP (concepts about print) skills. See our scope and sequence page for more details.
    • Read aloud.
    • Share repeated readings of predictable books.
    • Model writing (e.g., allow students to watch you write; support students in finding reasons to write).
    • Label names and other concrete words around the classroom.
    • Engage students in routine letter naming activities (e.g., sing the alphabet song, read alphabet books, do actions/sign language with letters, etc.).