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Readiness for Reading and Writing at

the Primary level

First major experience the child is
exposed to outside the home
These early experiences
Mould childrens attitudes to life
and learning
Develop skills that aid in growth
and development of their
Hurried child syndrome
Expectations and demands of
schooling leave child bewildered
and handicapped for growth
Child needs to be prepared

What is readiness?

Essentially the state of receptiveness
The ability to be receptive

Time when the childs

Physical, neural, intellectual, social and

emotional developments have advanced
to perceive the problem
to solve it with relative ease
Readiness should be seen as
A means of increasing childrens capacity to
meet the academic demands of the first years
at school
Developmental orientation for learning rather
than merely the development of pre requisite

School plays a vital role in readiness

It is imperative that
readiness activities
need to be
incorporated in the
primary classes
Inclusion of teachers in
the development of
such activities
becomes critical

What happens when child is

not ready?

Definition of reading readiness

The teachable moment for reading: a point in time
when the pupil is ready to learn how to read.
(Dechant 1991)
A transition extending over several months
during which time the child (student) gradually
changes from a non-reader to a beginning reader.
In this case the readiness program couples the
(student's) past learning with new learning and
brings the (student), gradually, through the
transition." (Clay 1991)

Importance of reading

Key to success in school

Stimulates thinking
Creates new interests
Leads to appreciation of
various kinds and types of
literature besides contributing
to personal and social

Components of reading readiness

Development of reading readiness

I) Initial stage of learning to
Knowledge of the alphabet/Letter
recognition/associating sounds and
symbol of the letter
Children begin to develop basic sight
Directional orientation
Much of the reading is oral
Children realize that reading is talk
written down

Development of reading readiness

II) Rapid development of reading skills
Extension and refinement of the previous
Child develops word-recognition skills
Builds a substantial sight vocabulary
Development of word meaning
III) Refinement of reading
Development of advanced comprehension
Attainment of study skills
Increase in the reading rate

Preparing children to read

I) Developing desirable interest
and attitude
Develop interest in reading
By providing picture books
Pictures of children reading
Read aloud stories
Story making
Information books
Childrens craft books
Newspaper/childrens magazine
Visiting book fair/exhibitions

Preparing children to read

Helping children see the relationship
between the text and the experience

Developing Graphic Sense

(Writing carries a message)
Bonding with books

All types of books- Picture books/

Three dimensional books/Pop-up
books/Touch and learn
books/cartoon books/comic books
Posters, pictures of children and
adult reading
Scrap books

Preparing children to read

Providing a print-rich
An environment with bulletin board notices,
messages labels, dictated stories, notes,
childrens personal files, labeling things in the
classroom such as lockers, cupboards, book
shelves, windows and doors
Name cards
Glove puppets that can be used by children
Reading corner with attractively displayed
books, flannel board equipped with characters
from stories, newspapers and magazines
Early literacy album that is filled with

List of favourite toys, food, game and so on

Drawing with dictated stories
Special scribble messages such as letters/ lists
Wish lists

Preparing children to read

II) Developing large speaking and listening

Encouraging children to speak and

experiment with different words and phrases
(Free and structured conversations)
Encourage small conversations between
Theme-based conversations
Role playing and dramatisation
Rhyming games
Story telling and story making
Listening games
Show and tell activities to be continued even
in the primary classes

Preparing children to read

III) Development of skills
Auditory perception skills

Auditory perception refers to the

ability of the brain to interpret and
create a clear impression of sounds
Good auditory skills enable children
to distinguish between
different pitches
rhythms and
sources of sounds and words

Preparing children to read

Auditory perception skills include

Children who have difficulties may have

Problems identifying speech sounds

Poor listening skills, especially when there is
background noise
Difficulty discriminating between similar words
/rhyming words
Poor articulation of sounds and words
Kinesthetic strengths (and learn better through using
concrete materials and practical experiences)
Visual strengths (and enjoy learning through using
visual materials such as charts, maps, videos,
Good motor skills (and have strengths in design and
technology, art, PE and games)

Activities to enhance auditory perception


Listening listen to sounds on a CD/ real objects with

eyes closed and then ask the pupils to:

point to a picture of the object making the sound and name it

point to a real object that makes the sound and then try it out.

Sound bingo listening to sounds and covering the

correct picture
Sound walk pupils drawing pictures or writing down the
names of the sounds they hear on the walk.
Grouping sounds animals, musical instruments, vehicles
etc. Improvise the activity with words
Odd one out Initially with sounds such as sound that is
not part of a group of sounds, eg. dogs barking, pig
grunting, cow mooing, musical instrument playing. Then
progress to words
Musical discrimination discriminating between loud/soft,
high/low, fast/slow notes

Activities to enhance auditory

perception skills

Clapping or tapping rhythms Can use pupils'

names and polysyllable words. Linked with picturenoun recognition
Pupils can work in pairs, using picture-noun cards
take turns to clap syllable beats and choose the
picture-noun card to match the number of beats
Same/different 1 listen to sets of two everyday
sounds and identify those that are the same and
those that are different
Same/different 2 listen to sets of two words and
identify those that are the same and those that are
different, eg. bat/bat, bat/bet
Same/different 3 listen to sets of two words and
identify those that rhyme and those that don't, eg.
cat/mat, bed/bud

Activities to enhance auditory

perception skills

Hands up 1 Children put up their hands

when they hear a particular sound/words
(sounds given one at a time)
Hands up 2 Children put up their hands
when they hear a particular sound against
a background of other sounds
(figure/ground auditory discrimination)
Who is it? Blindfold a child - ask another
pupil to say a short sentence Blindfolded
child identifies the child by name. Proceed
to sentences later
Sound bingo discriminating between
initial sounds
Rhyme time with word cards
Telephone talk
Story telling

Visual perception

Visual perception refers to information

that is perceived through the eyes
Developing in preschool children and
continues to develop right through primary
Important skill especially for school
Helps to discriminate well
Copy text accurately
Develop visual memory of things observed
Develop good eye-hand co-ordination and
Integrate visual information while using other

Components of Visual perception skills

and colour

and shape










Children who have visual perception difficulties


Be unable to identify shades of colour

and texture in pictures
Confuse shapes and symbols in
Confuse letters, words and objects
that look similar
Reverse numbers and letters when
Have problems with learning sight
Find simple scanning activities
difficult (eg. Word searches,
dictionary work, using an index)

Children who have visual perception difficulties

Have problems with comparative
language (Eg. taller than, shorter than,
longer than)
Have difficulty completing jigsaw puzzles
Have problems with copying from the
Prefer to use multisensory strategies
when learning
Work with small amounts of visual
material at a time
Predominantly use phonic strategies
when reading

Activities to develop visual

discrimination skills

Sorting colour, shape, size and texture, move to

letters and words
Post-a-shape matching shapes to the correct
Matching silhouettes pictorial/ shapes
Pairs 1 matching objects, shapes and pictures
Pairs 2 matching letters, using a choice of only four
to six at first. Try to avoid the letters that are easily
confused like b, d and p. Introduce those letters
Pairs 3 matching words, using a choice of only four
or five at first
Odd one out colour/ shape/ size/ pictorial (apple,
orange, banana), then move on to words
Spot the difference visual similarities and differences
between two pictures. Then letters &words(bat, but, bat)

Activities to develop visual discrimination


Mix and match making three-part flipbooks where heads, bodies and tails of
animals can be interchanged
Match the detail matching a picture of a
detail (such as a window) to the picture
from which the detail comes such as the
house that has that window)
Picture-word matching
Shape words matching high frequency
words to a shape outline
Snap matching a range of pictorial
Lotto matching word to word
Dominoes matching picture to picture
or word to word

Activities to develop visual


Words to sentence matching

Letter change (eg. cat, cot, cut)
Onset change (eg. sent, tent, went)
Odd word out both oral and written (eg.
hand, land, lend, stand)
Pelmanism 1 rhyming picture pairs
Pelmanism 2 rhyming word pairs
Word searches using high frequency words
or rhyming words or finding topic based
Simple crosswords
What will happen next? Through pictures
Post office corner- Shoe box filled with notes,
letters, cards, birthday invitations

Audio-visual discrimination
To establish association between sounds and
Activities to enhance audio-visual discrimination
Listening games
Matching games with pictures and then move on to
Odd one out with beginning sounds 4cards
having the same beginning word and one differentpigeon, potato, apple, parrot
Command cards for action words
Activity sheets which focus on Beginning sounds,
ending sounds
Picture housie
Word housie
Substitution tables

Directionality (Left-right/top-down

The skill of working from left to right and

top to down direction.
Is an important skill required for both reading
and writing readiness

Activities that aid directionality

Book handling- encourage children to quickly
go through pages in the right direction
Activities with pattern making, sequencing,
ordering to be encouraged
Children must be encouraged to work from left
to right direction
Worksheets which focus on working form left to

Writing readiness
The skills and
understandings necessary
for minimum success in
completing a writing task.
Learning to write is a difficult
Readiness in writing begins
when the child gets a good
start in reading and
thoroughly enjoys reading.


Able to firmly grasp a pencil ( small motor or fine motor skill)

Have eye-hand coordination
Can follow handwriting "rules"
Recognize letters of the alphabet
Basic stroke formation in the form of vertical and horizontal
lines and circles
Can follow verbal instructions
Knows spatial and temporal words- above, below, on top of,
and between
Dominant hand use
Good attention span
Memory skills to remember the formation
Perception skills to visualize what the letter should look like
Children should also know the letters in their name and attempt
to write them
The willingness to try writing and drawing activities

Enhanced writing readiness enables the

child to

Colour or paint within a given shape

Trace and copy letters
Write letters
Copy complex designs from the
Copy letters with the help of cues given
Discriminate differences between
similar-looking letters and then similar
sounding letters
Writing another word below the first
Interchanging the order of the letters and
point out to differences between them

Steps and techniques involved in preparing

children to write

Developing interest and seeing

relevance of skill of writing in
daily life situation
Creating a need to express
through writing
Developing skills

Developing interest and seeing relevance of

skill of writing in daily life situation
Develop interest in writing
This facilitates the childs effort to
become literate and with this the
learners desire for writing grows
How to develop?
Posters and pictures of other children and
adults writing
Illustrated stories/ charts/pictures/words/labels
and other visual aids displayed on the walls
Bulletin boards - a good medium for fostering
interest in the written word and its meaning
Informative books
Story books with more written content
Display childrens written work

Writing tools
Children need many
experiences with tools such
as paper, brushes, crayons,
pencils to develop abilities
not only in handling but also
in making refined strokes
Papers to write/coloured
Pictures and magazines
Note pad to scribble on
Setting up a small writing corner

Seeing writing in meaningful context

Recognition of words in day-today experiences. It is important
because the child sees that
writing is useful in her/his day to
day experiences

Field visits- supermarket/ station/malls

where they see the importance of labels
and that they tell something
Reading their names and names of
other children
Reading traffic signs/street signs
Drawings with dictated stories

Creating a need to express through

Providing a print rich

Bulletin boards
Value based stories
Chalk and talk stories
Stories made by children
Post office box
List of children and their phone numbers
Greeting cards
Invitations or advertisements for a book

Creating a need to express through

Letter perception
Noticing similarities and differences
and recognizing the form of letters
Provide children with
Books and magazines
Domino cards
Various games and activities- Making
small words from one big word
Collage composed of pictures that
begin with the same letters and then
move on to words
Textured /Feely letters to make words

Creating a need to express through

Basic Strokes
Pattern writing in the
preprimary is an important
prerequisite for writing

Developing skills
Small muscle development
As the children enter primary school
their small muscles are fairly well
Activities that would further foster
small muscle development
Jig-saw puzzles
All type of creative art work/drawing
painting/Clay work
Paper folding
Playing a musical instrument

Developing skills
is the ability of the
eyes & hands to work together in smooth,
efficient patterns & is required for
writing/copying/drawing/pencil-paper tasks
It involves
visual perception and
eye-hand co-ordination
High correlation between Visual motor
integration and
writing readiness/handwriting skills/
coping abilities/reading/mathematical
abilities and academic performance
Visual-motor integration (VMI)

Developing skills

90% of learning disabled children have visual

motor defects. (Tranopol)
Such children have difficulty in doing the fine
activities like
drawing geometric forms, cutting with scissors,
tracing, copying design
pasting & coloring.
Can provide children with
Lacing cards
Joining dots
Chalkboard board writing
Writing in dramatic play (Providing print related
props- shopping lists/tickets etc)
Completing mazes
More time to complete written work, or the task
demand is reduced for quality, not quantity.
Teaching computer skills is also a good
compensatory bypass strategy

The teacher
Cannot make the child learn until the child
herself/himself is not ready to learn
Has to make the child receptive to
Has to cater to differential levels of
readiness in teaching a uniform syllabus
Has to understand the basic concept of
Dont condemn children as being dull and
Adopting methods of teaching and
This problem can be overcome somewhat,
but it is indeed a difficult task for the


Reading and writing follow a developmental

progression in which graphic forms used
convey a meaning.
Each progressive stage of learning impacts
the next more advanced stage.
The ability to read and write depends on the
methods we use to teach.
If they are consistent with the developmental
age, learning is bound to happen.
Reading and writing readiness thus, is an
important aspect in the teaching-learning

We are for children!!!!

Children are like wet

cement, whatever falls on
them makes an impression
Dr.Haim Ginott