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  • Writer's pictureAngela Russ-Ayon

46 Literacy Concepts Children Learn When Adults Read Picture Books Aloud

Updated: Aug 22

A Family Reading with Their Children
Literacy Concepts - Preschool

In the advent of the digital era, there was a time when it looked like all physical picture books would be replaced by e-books on smartphones and tablets. Thankfully, this hasn't happened. Readers have a more fulfilling experience when books can be held and touched. Reading a physical book is about more than just showing children pictures and sharing stories. When adults model fluent and expressive reading, children recognize that reading is fun and useful, and they eventually become desirous of learning to read themselves. In other words, they become emergent readers. Here are additional literacy concepts children learn during read-alouds:

  1. There is a difference between a book and other objects. Children learn to identify and classify books.

  2. A picture book has a cover with a title that tells what the story is about.

  3. A picture book has contributors, such as an author and illustrator.

  4. A book is held right side up, as opposed to upside down.

  5. A book has to be opened to be read. "How do you open a book?"

  6. A book is read from cover to back.

  7. One has to be still and listen while a story is being read.

  8. One has to be quiet to hear a story being read.

  9. Turning the pages moves the story along.

  10. Paper pages are delicate and can be easily torn.

  11. A story can be told by just looking at the pictures.

  12. There are many things to see and discover on illustrated pages.

  13. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end.

  14. When one gets to the back of a book, the story is over.

  15. A person can pause a story to ask questions or make comments.

  16. The words printed on the cover and pages have meaning.

  17. Stories that have letters and words on the pages can be read.

  18. Someone has to read the words.

  19. When words are read, sounds can be heard.

  20. Sounds can be imitated.

  21. Books can be read aloud or enjoyed in silence.

  22. Words and sentences are read from left to right and top to bottom.

  23. Both familiar and new words can be heard in stories.

  24. Stories can contain rhyming words.

  25. Words and pictures can evoke empathy and emotions.

  26. Some books are interactive with textures to feel, flaps to lift, panels to slide, etc.

  27. Stories can be predictable.

  28. Stories help people learn and remember new things.

  29. Stories help people solve problems.

  30. Stories can be remembered and retold.

  31. Stories can be changed.

  32. Stories can be shared and discussed.

  33. Stories can be sung.

  34. There are objects and characters in the illustrations that can be recognized and identified.

  35. Characters in stories have experiences and circumstances that are either familiar or different from the reader.

  36. Children can feel represented in books (inclusion).

  37. Stories can be told from different perspectives.

  38. Stories can be read in different languages.

  39. Stories can introduce cultures, traditions, and lifestyles that are the same or different from the reader.

  40. Stories can be connected to other classroom activities, experiences, and parts of life.

  41. Actions, movement, and physical activity in a story can be imitated.

  42. Stories can be acted out through theater, puppetry, shadow plays, felt boards, etc.

  43. Stories can be interpreted through art: drawings, clay, collages, paintings, etc.

  44. Some books don't have pictures.

  45. Books are easily accessible. They don't have to be plugged in or charged.

  46. Stories can be read and enjoyed again and again.

A family reading a book together
Early Childhood Literacy

Feel free to share your ideas with me, and I will add them to this post.


Author of: The BIG Book of Open-Ended Questions to Intentionally Support Young Children in Learning: Topics for Preschool thru 1st Grade

Angela Russ-Ayon is a mom-preneur, children’s author, interactive trainer on the subject of early childhood, and award-winning artist/producer of music for young children. She presents educational strategies to child care providers, parents, and teachers nationwide for AEYCs, R & Rs, and the like. She is a member of the Recording Academy and is the sole owner of Russ InVision Records. For more information on Angela, her workshops, keynotes, and accomplishments, you are welcome to visit © 2021, Russ InVision. All rights reserved.

Find out more about Angela Russ-Ayon and her affordable interactive keynote and workshop presentations coast-to-coast on the subjects of early childhood development, STEM (science and math), open-ended questions, and creative engagement. Visit her training page. offers fun songs and physical activities for distance learning, virtual classes, webinars, child care facilities, after-school programs, homeschooling, preschools, daycare centers, kindergarten classes, or rainy day recesses.

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