Connecting Sounds to Written Words


  • To listen and connect the sounds of words to pictures and written text
  • To begin to understand that the print in books forms meaningful words
  • To build vocabulary



Literature Suggestion
Read Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats, or any highly predictable song with a strong word/picture match.

Read or sing the song in the book, showing the illustrations to children. Point to pictures and words that match.

Tell the children that they are going to play a game with the song in the book.

  • Invite the group to say or sing the song all the way through with you.
  • The next time you read or sing the song, tell the children you are going to stop during the song. They will need to fill in the missing word. Explain that you will point to a picture in the book that matches the word in the book. (For example, for "Over in the Meadow," sing 'Over in the meadow, in the sand, in the sun, lived an old mother ' Point to the picture. When the children say turtle, continue 'and her little turtle one.'
  • Then sing the song again, pointing to the words as the children sing. When they've finished singing, you may want to keep pointing to the last word and ask the children to tell you what that word is.
  • Repeat the game for other verses in the song.

On chart paper, draw simple pictures from the book. Point to each picture and ask children what it is. Slowly write the word next to the picture, naming the letters as you write.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child recognizes that the song is connected to the pictures and written words in the book and easily fills in the missing words in the song.
  • In Process - Child recognizes that the song is related to the pictures in the book, but does not make a connection between appropriate words and pictures.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet make the connection between the song and the words and pictures.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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