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Picture Walks and Other Pre-Reading Strategies for Early Literacy Development

The power of anchor charts


Early literacy development is crucial for young learners as they begin to navigate the world of reading and writing. Engaging in pre-reading strategies helps children build essential skills, such as oral language development, comprehension, and vocabulary One highly effective pre-reading strategy is the "picture walk." In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of picture walks and other pre-reading strategies that can be employed to support early literacy development in young learners.


Picture Walks: A Visual Journey to Boost Early Literacy Development

A picture walk is a pre-reading activity where children and educators "walk" through a book, discussing and making predictions based on the illustrations before reading the text. This process encourages students to make connections, activate prior knowledge, and generate curiosity about the story. Here are some benefits of incorporating picture walks into early literacy instruction:

  1. Vocabulary Development: Picture walks introduce new words and concepts in a visual context, helping children develop their vocabulary and understand the meaning of words in the story.

  2. Oral Language Skills: As students discuss the illustrations and make predictions, they practice using language to express their thoughts, ask questions, and share ideas with their peers and teachers.

  3. Comprehension: Picture walks provide a framework for understanding the story by allowing children to anticipate the events and make connections to their own experiences. This helps them better comprehend the text when they read it.

  4. Confidence: By engaging with the illustrations and making predictions, children build confidence in their ability to understand and interpret stories.

Additional Pre-Reading Strategies for Early Literacy Development

Besides picture walks, there are several other pre-reading strategies that can support early literacy development:

  1. Read-Alouds: Reading aloud to young learners exposes them to a variety of texts, genres, and vocabulary. It also models proper pronunciation, intonation, and expression, helping children develop their listening and comprehension skills.

  2. Story Retelling: Encourage children to retell familiar stories using their own words. This activity helps improve their memory, comprehension, and sequencing skills, as well as fostering creativity and imagination.

  3. Rhyming and Word Play: Engage children in activities that involve rhyming words, syllables, and word families. This helps develop their phonological awareness, a key skill in learning to read.

  4. Predicting and Questioning: Encourage children to make predictions about stories and ask questions before, during, and after reading. This practice supports their critical thinking skills and strengthens their comprehension abilities.

Pre-reading strategies, such as picture walks, play a vital role in early literacy development. By introducing these activities in the classroom or at home, educators and parents can support young learners as they build essential skills and become confident, successful readers.

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About inquirED

inquirED was founded by teachers with the mission of bringing inquiry-based social studies to every classroom. Inquiry Journeys, inquirED’s elementary social studies curriculum, is used in schools and districts across the country to help students develop deep social studies content knowledge and build the inquiry skills that are essential for a thriving democracy.

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