What are Concepts of Print?

Concepts of print is understanding HOW print works and functions. Before we can even work on teaching students learning how to read, we should teach book awareness and concepts of print. Concepts about print is an important beginning literacy skill.

Print of concepts comes in two forms: book awareness and print awareness. Book awareness is when a student can identify what a book is, parts of a book and how to use it by themselves. Meanwhile, print awareness pertains to what is written inside the book. Aside from that, it involves taking a look at what can be contained inside, for example how words form sentences, sentences form paragraphs and what is written (print) is portrayed in the images.

Concepts of Print

Why you should teach it to your students?

Learning about the concepts of print both in book and print awareness allows students a good foundation in learning how to read.

Activities to teach it to your students

Showing students book awareness & directionality

Let’s now take a look at how to help students understand how to use a book. In order for them to gain this skill, they must be able to do the following:

  • Return the book into its normal position before starting to read
  • Identify its front and back cover that is connected by a spine
  • Point to the book’s title
  • Point to the book’s author
  • Turning to the next page
  • Going back one page
  • Which direction should they read it

Show students what print awareness is

Ask your students about the following to know if they have print awareness. Have them point to:

  • a letter
  • a word
  • a sentence

Teach and show them:

  • the first letter/word/sentence is on a page
  • the last letter/word/sentence is on a page
  • spaces between words
  • Being aware of what punctuation marks are

Recommended Activities to Teach about Concepts of Print

After learning what concepts of print is and how to check if a student understands this, let’s take a look at activities to help them learn this skill.

Always model these concepts before reading a book or while reading

The simplest way to help students grasp the idea of a book is by showing them one in person. Show students how to properly hold it, turn its pages, and read what it is written by themselves (start by showing them 1:1 correspondence using the title each time your read).

Use environmental print to teach students print awareness

Environmental print are large symbols, such as signs and billboards, to help your students recognize letters to phrases. A possible example for this activity is showing a collage of samples that can be found locally and ask your students to identify the parts of the sign. Ask them which is a capital letter, ask them to point out punctuation marks, etc.

Play alphabet and counting games

Like any good program has make sure to incorporate various alphabet and counting games that deal with letters, words and sentences.

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

Using music


If you want to make this lesson fun for your students, you can use songs such as the one linked above to introduce the parts of a book. This will help them memorize it using a catchy tune. Another is by using a video to teach them simple things such as the order of reading a book.

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept


We checked out what it takes for a student to understand the concepts of print. I also listed the reasons as to why it is important to teach this foundational skill and what questions to ask to confirm their knowledge on it. Finally, I showed four different activities to help your students remember more about books in a fun way.

Which activity did you use to help your students learn about the concepts of print? Comment them down below!

  • Concepts of Print