Approaches to Literacy and Reading in the Kindergarten Classroom

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Approaches to Literacy and Reading in the Kindergarten Classroom

The Phonics Approach 

Phonics approach applies the technique of sounds where children learn individual sounds before they connect them into a word. A phoneme is the least part of a word that carries meaning or a single sound in a word (Darnell et al., 2017). A sound is the building block of a word. Learners may learn how to write all the alphabets but saying them becomes difficult. However, starting from a sound, it is easy to break the sound into letters later. Teaching sounds help learners to connect several of them and be able to read a complete word. It starts slowly and the learners halt but then they become fluent.

Language Experience Method/ Oral Language

This strategy involves teaching children from what they are familiar with or what they already know how to read. In this case, the instructor teaches each child differently depending on what they know (Darnell et al., 2017). Children learn how to read different words from their parents before they join kindergarten. Instructors in the approach listen to such worlds and then build from there. It is easy for children to learn worlds which they are already familiar. The instructor comes up with stories using that child’s words or asks children to sketch pictures that relate to those words and group them to have a flowing narrative.

Whole Word Approach

The whole word approach, unlike the Phonics, teaches children how to recognize and read a complete word. In the strategy, the instructors employ context and pictures relating to the words so that the children can get their meanings (Darnell et al., 2017). Children start with learning words that are familiar with them separately and then in a sentence. As the children continue to grow in their vocabulary, they begin to learn the rules used and therefore how they can read other words they are not familiar, or they have never come across. Continuous exposure to the words and sentences enables the children to read most of the vocabulary they come across although they may sound unfamiliar.

Ways to Support Children Learning to Read


It involves developing a habit of reading the same content until the child becomes familiar. An instructor can make it a habit to read with children but allow them to participate more by pointing out the words and sounds (Morrison, 2017). Read the same story with the children every day so that they can learn the rules in the vocabulary.


The strategy involves allowing children to choose what they want to read, the story, words or sentence (Morrison, 2017). It provides them with a foundation of reading other words or sentences. Reading what they are familiar with makes it easy to establish the technique of forming vocabularies and therefore, apply it in other new words


The method involves creating a challenge for the children as they continue learning how to read (Morrison, 2017). An instructor in the technique changes the content form one word in a page to sentences that are longer and complex as the child advances. The children use familiar words to learn the new ones in every unique page.

Most Effective Approach

The most effective approaches to Literacy and Reading a whole word approach. It makes the cognitive attention in children free and therefore, able to process words that are unfamiliar to them. The most effective way to support them is problem-solving. Children like coming across new words to show their parents and instructors that they are learning. It will make the learning exciting and therefore learn how to read easily when presented with a challenge.





Morrison, G. S. (2017). Fundamentals of early childhood education. Pearson Higher Ed.

Darnell, C. A., Solity, J. E., & Wall, H. (2017). Decoding the phonics screening check. British Educational Research Journal, 43(3), 505–527.