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Kindergarten Readiness: Background Knowledge

What Is Background Knowledge?

A child's ability to recognize and identify things they have already learned about. This knowledge includes facts, abstract thinking, and enjoyment of retelling stories and narratives.

How Can I Teach This At Home?

Playing
1. Play with puzzles to develop problem-solving skills.

2. Compare and contrast toys - this will help them understand the differences between things!

3. Give your children time to figure out words and activities - this will give them time to use their prior knowledge to solve the problem!

Reading
1. Read books about things that they will encounter frequently. This will help them learn to identify things as they occur in your child's life (e.g., birthdays, families, etc.)!

2. Read books that compare objects (e.g., "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"). The more they see different objects, the more they will learn about them and be able to recognize their similarities and differences.

Singing
1. Practice singing songs that your child has listened to before with your child.

2. Sing songs that talk about facts or have repetitive elements. The repetition will help them remember and develop that background knowledge!
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Talking
1. At bedtime, have children tell you about something from their day.

2. Encourage children to talk about the order in which they are doing something.

3. Talk to your child about a topic they know about and share information you know about the topic with them.

Writing
1. Have children write and draw a story from their own experience.

2. Use charts or graphs to classify objects.

3. Encourage your children to write as an activity!

Skills Checklist

Where Do I Start?

Need More?

The catalog for the Waco-McLennan County Library is available here!

If you want to search for more resources in our catalog in this subject, we suggest you search for the following subject headings:

For more assistance with searching and locating items held by the Waco-McLennan County Library, use our Ask a Librarian feature available on our catalog website or stop in to one of our branches!

The Waco-McLennan County Library provides patrons with access to resources through our Electronic Resources page, which can be found here. Suggested databases are listed below:

Did You Know?

Children develop background knowledge by learning about the world around them. These connections can help them draw together ideas and concepts when they are reading!