• Angela Russ-Ayon

46 Literacy Concepts Children Learn When Adults Read Picture Books Aloud

Updated: Oct 3

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. Thankfully, this hasn't happened. Picture books that you can hold in your hand give readers a more fulfilling experience that connects them to the books. If you take a closer look at holding and reading a physical book, you'll find that you're not just showing children pictures and sharing stories. When adults model fluent and expressive reading, children recognize that reading is fun and 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. They are able to identify and classify books. There is a difference between a book and other objects.

  2. A picture book has a cover 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.

  6. A book is read from cover to back.

  7. Turning the pages moves the story along.

  8. Pages are delicate and can be easily torn.

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

  10. Stories are read from left to right, and top to bottom.

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

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

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

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

  15. Someone has to read the story.

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

  17. One has to be quiet in order to hear a story being read.

  18. A person can pause a story to ask questions.

  19. Stories that are read have letters and words on the pages.

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

  21. When one reads words, sounds can be heard.

  22. Sounds can be imitated.

  23. Some books are interactive with textures, lift-a-flaps, sliding panels, etc.

  24. Some stories are predictable.

  25. New words are introduced.

  26. Some stories contain rhyming words.

  27. Words can evoke empathy and emotions.

  28. Stories help them learn new things.

  29. Stories help them solve problems.

  30. Stories can be remembered and retold.

  31. Stories can be changed.

  32. Stories can be shared and talked about.

  33. Some stories can be sung.

  34. Stories contain characters to whom children can relate.

  35. One can feel represented in books that are read (inclusion).

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

  37. Stories can be told from different perspectives.

  38. Stories can be read in different languages.

  39. Stories can be told about a culture that is the same or different from theirs.

  40. Actions in a story can be imitated.

  41. Stories can be acted out through physical activity, puppetry, shadow plays, felt boards, etc.

  42. Stories can be connected to other classroom activities and parts of life.

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

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 2nd Grade, ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0-9987090-5-5, Releasing Oct. 2022

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, and her accomplishments you are welcome to visit www.abridgeclub.com. © 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 family engagement. Visit her training page.

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