Wee Read

Wee Read helps children and their families in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph develop early literacy skills.

Emergent literacy

Everything children need to know about reading before they learn to read

Do you:

  • Read to your children or the children under your care every day?
  • Let your children see you reading?
  • Have children’s books at home?
  • Have paper and crayons or makers for your children?
  • Sing songs with your children?
  • Take your children to the library to take out books or to go to their programs?

All of these activities help your child get ready to read  

Does your child (0-5 years) have all the skills needed to learn to read?  Review the Wee Read Checklist below.

Emergent Literacy Checklist

Literacy begins at birth. Does your child (0-5 years) have the skills needed to learn to read?

Check off the items your child can do.  If your child does not do one or more items in each age group call Here4Kids for a referral to Wee Talk for an Emergent Literacy Skills Screening.

Birth to 18 months (Birth to 1.5 years)

  • Happily shares books with caregiver every day.
  • Looks at pictures in books.
  • Points to pictures and looks at caregiver to talk about or name pictures.
  • Copies the rhythm or action of a nursery rhyme or song.
  • Sees printed materials at home such as cereal boxes and grocery lists.
  • Enjoys trying new activities and hears new words about the activity.
  • Makes sounds and plays with sounds.
  • Holds onto crayon and scribbles.

18 to 30 months (1.5 to 2.5 years)

  • Holds books and shows an interest in hearing them over and over and over again.
  • Names pictures.
  • Begins to repeat some nursery rhymes and parts of favourite books.
  • Knows and repeats parts of songs.
  • Begins to make lines, circles and other shapes when scribbling.

30 to 48 months (2.5 to 4 years)

  • Knows the front of a book and turns pages to see story.
  • Understands the meaning of stop signs, some store signs and some packaging.
  • Understands that words are made up of letters and have meaning.
  • Recognizes own printed name.
  • Retells beginning, middle and end of a story using sentences.
  • Uses story words such as “once upon a time”, or “the end”, and fills in familiar parts.
  • Begins to talk about events that have happened, are happening, or will happen.
  • Listens to stories for five to fifteen minutes.
  • Knows the sounds for five letters.
  • Enjoys rhyming and matching sounds.
  • Claps or taps the beat of a word.
  • Scribbles begin to look like letters or numbers.
  • Copies simple lines and shapes.
  • Identifies letters in his or her name.

48 to 60 months (4 to 5 years)

  • Chooses books of interest.
  • Recites a story while looking at a book.
  • Uses imagination to make up or retell a story.
  • Asks questions and talks about a story.
  • Tries to spell words.
  • Prints own name.
  • Asks what words or stories say.
  • Picks words out of a story.
  • Holds pencil using three fingers.

Links and Resources