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Emergent Reading & Family Literacy

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2169 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Emergent Reading & Family Literacy



1. Emergent Reading

There are certain ways that students can learn how to read. There are two types of reading, conventional and emergent reading. Conventional reading involves two processes, decoding and comprehending. Decoding involves translating printed words into their spoken counterparts. Comprehending involves understanding what the printed words mean. Children will often decode the print in an unfamiliar book. Emergent reading is defined as the reading behaviors of children that occur before and develop into conventional reading. The child’s reading behaviors will naturally emerge over time through their use of printed materials, singing, drawing and writing. Emergent reading often occurs with familiar than unfamiliar books. The students reading behaviors will have a progression and some children may show this progression in preschool before they reach kindergarten. The following are the appropriate activities that the children need to be showing for their progression.

They can hold a book right side up.

They can turn the pages right to left.

The child will look through the book without skipping pages.

The child is able to name objects that are in the pictures.

The child can tell a story by naming the pictures.

They can recognize the print in the book to tell the story, and they can read some of the print-referenced words.

By having this cheek list informs the teachers about areas of the child’s reading development. Book handing is important, so that the student’s understands that they are holding the book in the up-right position and they are able to turn the pages one by one, not just in one clump of pages. It is important to have independent reading in the daily schedule of the classroom. For independent reading allow the child to read independently in a quiet and comfortable area. Allow the child to read their books, this may only be the child leafing through the book and looking at the pictures. Reading aloud is the most important element in a successful emergent literacy. Having picture books is very important in emergent reading; this begins with pictures that help children to establish a basis for the meaning of the words that they will eventually get to know. As children listen to books being read to them they will begin to construct a mental note of the elements of the story. Having pictures are the most important part of the book for young children, the pictures gives the words their meaning, as children reread books they become aware of the narrative structure. They will acquire knowledge about setting, plots, and themes through seeing the following.

1. Character’s actions will occur in different settings.

2. Narratives comprise events in related sequences.

3. Stories that carry messages from authors.

4. Stories reveal cognitive and emotional responses.

Emergent reading for young children begins with pictures, while conventional reading begins with words. Children will emerge into reading depending on the pictures that are in the book. These pictures help the child understand the story. Picture walking is great to do with a small group or with an individual student. I like to introduce the book to the students by doing a picture walk through the book. As you are showing the pictures in the book to the students, you may ask the child what is happening in the picture. Studies have “examined the relationship between literacy skills and story reading, they have found out that especially the knowledge of writing and letter naming skills were higher in children that stories are read.” (Yazici & Bolay, 2017).

2. Predictable Books

Predictable books are one of the student’s most favorite types of books to read and have read to them. These books have rhyming and repeated words or they may have a sequential pattern of episodes that will help children guess what will happen next. The children love these types of books because of their catchy rhythms and the sound of the words. Predictable books will have the three following context in them.

1. Have a predictable storyline.

2. Have a predictable structure with rhyme, rhythm and repetition.

3. Have illustrations that support the text.

It is very important to have engaging illustrations that will describe what the text expresses in words. The following are some ideas to keep in mind when picking a predictable book. The text uses sequential patterns such as days, numbers and letters. The text is brief, fast-paced and fun. The story features engaging human or animal characters, and the pictures are clearly illustrated with words and lines.

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 The first book I would chose is called Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm By: Joy Cowley, Elizabeth Fuller. The story is about the animals on Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Farm that do not like to take baths. So the animals decide to run away. The rhymes in this book will keep the children anticipate what text is coming next. The repeated text in the book is Wishy-Washy.

The second Book is: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see. By: Bill Martin JR, and Eric Carle. This book has repeated questions, a predictable pattern and colorful illustrations. Since this a fairly easily book the children will be reading this book on their own with no problem at all. The repeated line in the book is what do you see? Plus all the sight words that they will need to know.

The third book is called Dinnertime! By: Sue Williams, Kerry Argent. The story is about a hungry fox on the prowl, looking to eat rabbits for dinner, but all six rabbits are able to escape. The lines that are repeated in the story are that the fox wants to eat you, one by one. Run! Run! Run! By having these types of books in the classroom will help the preschoolers to build foundational literacy skills for most of the “Common Core Reading standards: Foundational skills are focused on developing students understanding and working knowledge of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency.” (Brown, 2014).

3. Family Literacy

Family literacy is the role of the family in developing their children’s literacy as well as the programs designed to help families support their own literacy. Every school will have a family literacy programs. The school staff will have a variety of methods to communicate with families about the programs philosophy and curriculum objectives included in two educational goals to be used in their child’s learning. Family literacy includes the ways families, children and extended family members use literacy at home. A parent can include their child in on helping them write a shopping list for the store or following a family recipe out of a cookbook. These are ways families can have their child get involved in writing and reading.

The Letter Home.

Helping your child to read.

Please see below the several different strategies that may be used to assist your child in becoming a better reader. Tell your child to look at the picture fist. If they are having trouble saying a word have them look for chunks in the word, such as all in small. Ask your child to go on and read to the end of the sentence. Often by reading the other words in context, they will be able to figure out the unknown word.

What you can do at home.

Try to allow your child to select different reading materials that interest them. Some reading ideas could be, read different stories to your child. Get excited about the local library, this is a great way to get different types of books for your child. Play a board game, for instance sight word bingo, but have the child call out the words. This is a wonderful bonding activity, and it is fun to play. 

Some reading tips.

Ask the child questions about what they had just read. Why do they think something happened? Encourage your child to follow along with their finger on the words while reading and to sound out the unfamiliar words. Give praise to your child and gently correct them when they have made a mistake. Be patient with your child in the reading process and they will become excellent readers. Try to meet with every parent in the classroom and see if home reading is taking place. If it is not give each parent the letter that will help them with the  beginning stages of the reading process. To find out what interest the child ask them what activities do they like to do at home. What is their favorite movie and what type of books do they like to read or listen to. Always have books available for the parents to take home so the child can read them and return them when they are finished. Encourage the parents to have a reading environment at home. The parent should have a place to keep the books in for example a book case, also have a comfy chair and a lamp so the child is able to see and read the book. It is important to have a print rich environment at the home, from labeled posters and pictures. Encourage the parent to label the table, rug, chair and pillows. Once the child has become proficient at the word than the parent can remove the label. One of the major issues a parent can face is obtaining books for their home. Sometimes paperback copies of classroom books can be available for the student to take home. Encourage the parents to visit the local library; it’s a great way to show the child about borrowing something and to treat it will care, and then return it.  “When families are involved in children’s schooling, students tend to demonstrate higher levels of engagement in various aspects of school, life, have better grades and higher test scores, have higher graduation rates, and a greater like hood to enroll in post-secondary schools!” (Henderson &

Mapp, 2002)

4. Parent Reading Programs

At one of the schools I had worked at, they would have Reading Under the Oaks. The school was a very old school that was set with beautiful oak trees in the court yard. The school would hang white Christmas lights in the trees and put blankets under each tree. They would have small bites of food also. On each blanket a different book was being read. Some of the books were read by teachers and some by parents. One time at Christmas time the teachers dressed up like elves and called it reading with the elves. The school would provide hot coco and cookies for the students. The school also provided free books to the students. By giving away the free books this would help the parents build a home library. Once a year the school held a book fair, the students loved going to it and purchasing new books to add to their at home library. The school was located in an affluent area of town. So there was a huge support in parents helping out in the classrooms and volunteering all the time. The school was also involved with adopt a Grandma. Every Kindergarten room had a volunteer Grandma who would spend the whole day in the classroom. She was like a second hand. She would pull small groups during centers and play sight word bingo with the students. The students grew a wonderful bond with the grandma. The school was set in a wonderful community that helped out and it was a lovely school to work at.


  • Yazıcı, E., & Bolay, H. (2017). Story Based Activities Enhance Literacy Skills in Preschool Children. Universal Journal of Educational Research,5(5), 815-823. doi:10.13189/ujer.2017.050528
  • Brown, C. (2014). Language and Literacy Development in the Early Years: Foundational Skills that Support Emergent Readers. Language and Literacy Development in the Early Years,24, 1-15. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1034914.pdf.
  • Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.


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