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Skill Overview

What are the basic book parts?

The basic parts of a book that students should be able to identify are the front and back cover, the title, the author and illustrator, the spine of the book, and the title page


What tasks should students be able to demonstrate to indicate mastery of this skill?

  • Identify the parts of the book

  • Describe the function of each part


Why is understanding basic book parts important to reading?

Understanding how print works is a type of literacy knowledge and a precursor to decoding. Recognizing and using the basic parts of the book are foundational skills when learning about texts and how they work.

What diagnostic can be used to determine if there are deficits in understanding concepts of print?

Structured Literacy Tools

Sequential and Cumulative

Systematic and Explicit

To Mastery

Modeling is the best way to teach students about basic book parts.  When reading a book to students:

  • Introduce the book by discussing the cover of the book. Point out the title and its role in helping inform the reader of what the book is about. Tell who the author and illustrator are and describe their role in creating books.

  • Show the back cover of the book and describe the role of the blurb that is often found there. 

  • Point out the spine of the book and explain that the title of the book is written there.  Explain that the spine helps students select books from the shelf without having to take the book off the shelf.  It also holds the book together.

  • When you begin to read the book, show the title page. Explain to students that this page is always the first page of any book, and it states the title of the story and the author. 

Basic book parts can be taught as early as students begin interacting with books. Basic book parts can be taught simultaneously and are typically described, modeled, and taught when reading aloud with children in whole group, small groups, and individually.

The Concepts of Print continuum below organizes the cumulative progression of teaching students about how print works. Before learning about how words work, students should learn about book parts.

Students demonstrate mastery of basic book parts by their ability to accurately identify each part and explain the role of the author and illustrator.

Practice Resources

Downloadable Files From BRI Resources
Downloadable Files From Literacy Partners
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