Literacy for ME: Sample Learning Targets for
Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)

This collection of literacy targets represents a set of skills that preschoolers are working on during this age or grade span. It is important to remember that these are learning and instructional targets that should serve as reference points. Each learner is unique and learns skills in different ways and at different times. Use the targets in this document to communicate with caregivers and educators and to support literacy at home and in the community.

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Reading Foundations Targets

Preschoolers are learning to...

  • hold books correctly.
  • follow print in a text from left to right and top to bottom.
  • understand that a text has a title and an author.
  • ask questions about a text.
  • name a main character.
  • tell the major events from a text.
  • ask questions about words or pictures.
  • produce rhyming words with support.
  • recognize and name letters.
  • recognize and produce the sounds of the letters in their name with support.
  • connect a sound to a picture of an object that begins with that sound.


Writing Targets

Preschoolers are learning to...

  • draw, dictate to others, or begin to write to communicate an idea or topic.
  • draw, dictate to others, or begin to write to tell a story.
  • share drawings and writings with others and explain it.


Speaking and Listening Targets

Preschoolers are learning to...

  • practice the rules of conversation, including taking turns, listening, and asking questions.
  • engage in conversations with peers and adults about a topic.
  • ask questions to gather information or clarify something.
  • orally describe familiar people, places, or things with added details.
  • speak audibly and express feelings, thoughts, and emotions.


Language Targets

Preschoolers are learning to...

  • speak in complete sentences.
  • print some upper- and lowercase letters.
  • write their own names.
  • use the /s/ sound to indicate plurals (e.g. dogs, toys).
  • use question words (e.g. who, what, where, when, why, how).
  • use some prepositions (e.g. to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
  • capitalize the first letter in their own name.
  • write letters to represent sounds.
  • ask and answer questions about new words.
  • with prompting, identify words with similar meanings. 
  • use words learned from being read or spoken to.