Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quick and easy literacy activities

Our school board issued a list of great literacy activities.
They're simple and fun, and are great examples of what I like to call "guerilla literacy" - using tons of little tactics here and there that add up to... a kid who likes to read.

You may want to print this list out and put a copy in your kitchen, in your car, in your purse; wherever you can use it to remind yourself of a quick and easy activity that encourages reading.

The great thing about the list is that it specifically targets some of the things that the Toronto school board has found that kids typically struggle with: identifying the main idea, making inferences and explaining point-of-view.

The school board also found that students could use more exposure to poetry and graphic texts. Discussing song lyrics or talking about billboards, ads and menus for instance, will help familiarize your child with these text forms.

So here's the list - I've bolded some of the ones I found particularly new, fun or do-able.

  • Write out a phone message for a member of your family.

  • Bake a favourite recipe.

  • Tell a story about growing up.

  • Tell the story of your birth.

  • When you are travelling in the car with your parents, give the directions.

  • Tell a traditional story about your culture.

  • Put a message on a sticky note and place it on the fridge for your parents.

  • Look at family photos and tell stories together.

  • Make up stories when you are travelling together.

  • Make a scrapbook about something that interests you.

  • Play cards.

  • Play board games.

  • Read or write poetry.

  • Make up tongue twisters.

  • Look up words you don't know in a dictionary or online.

  • Read a news story out loud and talk about what you think about it.

  • Learn a song. Teach it to your parents.

  • Write an e-mail together to a friend or family member.

  • Get some refrigerator word magnets and play with them.

  • Write a thank-you card together.

  • Watch a TV show together and talk about the main idea.

  • Watch a movie and see whether you can summarize it in just five sentences.

  • Read a book together and then watch the movie version. Talk about the differences between the two versions.

  • Write out the family shopping list.

  • When you are travelling together, point out street signs, ads and other text that is interesting.

  • Read a computer manual or online instructions together.

  • Put something together that comes with plans.

  • Read something while thinking about the author's message.

  • Read "between the lines" and see if you can make an inference about the way someone in your family is behaving. For example, "based on the fact that you are rushing around the house frantically looking in every drawer, I'm going to infer that you've lost your keys again, Mom."

  • Make a connection between an idea in a book and something from your own experience.

  • Give a five-minute summary of a movie you recently enjoyed (but remember not to ruin the story by giving away the ending!).

I don't think "bolded" is a word. It sure is a concept I find that I need to use a lot. Emboldened? I could say "higlighted in bold" I guess, but "bolded" is faster. Sigh. But probably not a word.

This list was put together by the Toronto District School Board.

1 comment:

Ian @ Tidy Books said...

Bolded works for me, got your emphasis. Thanks for sharing the list, very useful.