Literacy Activities

literacy

Description:

Literacy focuses on the core skills to read and write. It is the ability to engage with language to communicate with yourself and other in all aspects of daily living, and the ability to understand the world around you. These activities are created fora ll ages and all cognitive levels.

Activities should be adapted based on the learner's cognitive ability.

Purpose

Literacy activities are important for learners so that they are able to effectively read and write. Learners need literacy in order to not only be understood by others, but also to comprehend the world around them.

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picture book
Activity 1: Picture Walk

Ask the learner to make their own version of a story by looking at the tile, cover page, chapter names and pictures in a story/book

Purpose

This activity helps learners make inferences based on prior knowledge, it also allows learners to comprehend a story by making more connections while reading, apply creativity to design their own stories and communicate their thoughts effectively.

  • Step 1

    Find a book or story to read. Look at the title and pictures on the cover page and discuss with the learner what they think the story will be about.

  • Step 2

    Next, go through the book page by page and ask the learner to make up a story only by looking at the pictures and chapter names (if there are any). Ask the learner to orally narrate or write the made up story down.

  • Step 3

    Now ask the learner to read the book. As the learner goes through it, ask them to think about 3 similarities and differences in their story and that of the author.

  • Additional Exercise

    If the learner already knows the story well, then they can rewrite it, changing one of the story elements (i.e., the characters, setting, problem or solution).

  • Simplified Exercise

    This activity can be done with a picture instead of a story. Find a picture online or around the house of people doing things and ask the learner to create a story based on this picture. Use questions such as: where did the person/people come from? Why were they there? What were they doing?

  • For a longer project where the learner can create their own stories, please refer to Grandmother’s Tale here: Link

Before, During, After
Activity 2: Reading Questions: Before, During and After

Read a story or watch a video with a friend and take turns asking each other questions before, during and after reading/watching.

Purpose

This activity helps learners make inferences based on prior knowledge, it also allows learners to comprehend a story by making more connections while reading, apply creativity to design their own stories and communicate their thoughts effectively.

  • Step 1

    Find a book or story to read. Look at the title and the pictures on the cover or title page. Ask the learner questions about what they think the story will be about.

  • Step 2

    Next, begin reading the book together and tell the learner to stop whenever they have a question about what is happening in the story, or stop at different parts of the book to ask each other questions of what will happen next in the story. Use the example questions below to frame different types of questions.

  • Step 3

    Finally, ask questions at the end of the book. These could include questions that expect the learner to recall different parts of the story, make connections to themselves, the world or another story or questions that prompt the learner to think about new learning (e.g., vocabulary words or new concepts).

  • Additional Exercise

    Create a table with 3 rows. Label each row as follows:

    1. Questions I had before reading…

    2. Questions I had during reading…

    3. Questions I had after reading…

    Fill in row 1 of this table before the learner starts reading - so only with questions they have by looking at the title and pictures on the cover of the book. Fill in row 2 while reading the story. Fill in row 3 when they are done reading the book. If they are reading with a partner, they can both do this and then try to answer each other’s questions at the end.

  • Simplified Exercise

    This activity can be orally narrated and discussed instead of written down.

kwl
Activity 3: KWL (Informational Passages/Books)

Ask the learner to think about what they already Know about a topic, what they Want to learn about it and after reading about the topic, to reflect on what they have Learned.

Purpose

This activity helps learners get a deeper understanding of the content and better retain the information by activating prior knowledge and making connections.

  • Step 1

    Make a chart with three columns saying: Know, Want to know and Learned.

  • Step 2

    Choose a new book the learner has not read before. Before starting the book, look at the title and the pictures. Discuss and write down what they know about the topic under the Know column.

  • Step 3

    Next, discuss and write down what they Want to learn so that while they are reading, they will be more aware of this information if it is provided.

  • Step 4

    Finally, begin reading the book. While reading or once the book is done, discuss and write about what they have Learned from it - any new facts they learned or thoughts that they have about the topic now.

  • Additional Exercise

    Do this activity with a friend or in a group. When they have each finished filling out their sheets, discuss three columns to see the differences and what everyone learned.

  • Simplified Exercise

    This activity can be orally narrated and discussed instead of written down.

alphabet
Activity 4: Alphabet Brainstorm

Purpose

Ask the learner to think about what they already know about a topic and write words connected to it for each letter of the alphabet.

This activity helps learners activate prior knowledge or background knowledge so that they get a deeper understanding of the content and better retain the information by making connections when they read.

  • Step 1

    Pick a topic to read about.

  • Step 2

    Ask the learner to think about what they know about this topic.

  • Step 3

    For each fact they have about the topic, come up with a key word and write it next to the letter of the alphabet.

  • Step 4

    For each fact they have about the topic, come up with a key word and write it next to the letter of the alphabet.

  • Step 5

    Try to think of one key word for each letter of the alphabet. If the learner cannot complete all the letters, do not worry, that is okay. Read about the topic and then come back to this sheet and try to finish filling out all the letters in the alphabet.

  • Additional Exercise

    Do this activity with a friend or in a group. When the learner and partner have each finished filling out their sheets, discuss the key points together.

  • Simplified Exercise

    This activity can be done by illustrating and not writing the key words down.

  • For a longer project on the alphabet, refer to the ABC By Me project here: Link

venn
Activity 5: Venn Diagram

Find two topics to compare and contrast in a Venn Diagram.

Purpose

This activity teaches to compare and contrast information (i.e., think of similarities and differences).

  • Step 1

    Using the picture of the two circles below, create a Venn Diagram. This is a diagram to show the differences and similarities between two things.

  • Step 2

    Find two things to compare. For example: two short books, or two animals, or two main characters of one story, etc. Use the picture as an example.

  • Step 3

    Think about the similarities between the two things. Write them in the part where the two circles overlap, the middle.

  • Step 4

    Then, think about the differences between the two things. Write what is unique to each thing under the two sides.

  • Additional Exercise

    Have the learner do this activity with a friend or in a group. When the learner and the partner have each finished filling out their diagrams, have them discuss the Venn diagram with each other.

  • Simplified Exercise

    This activity can be discussed instead of written down.

connections
Activity 6: Making Connections

Read a story and talk about what text to self, text to text, or text to world connections can be made.

Purpose

This activity helps learners activate their prior knowledge and make connections with what they are reading so that they get a deeper understanding of the text and better retain the information.

  • Step 1

    Pick a book the learner has not read before. Ask the learner to look at the cover page and title and then begin reading the story.

  • Step 2

    While reading, stop if anything from the book reminds the learner of something about themselves, something else they may have read, or something about the world.

    For example: the book talks about playing with friends at a local swimming pool.

  • Step 3

    Then say:

    My text to self connection is…. “that time that I went to the swimming pool with my friends”

    My text to text connection is… “in another story I read about Lily playing with her friends at a local swimming pool”

    My text to world connection is… “I can swim anywhere with water like a pool, lake, pond, and so on”

     

  • Step 4

    Keep going until the end of the book.

  • Additional Exercise

    This activity can be done in writing as well. Make three columns on a sheet of paper and title them as follows:

    1. Text to self

    2. Text to text

    3. Text to World

    Fill these in as the learner reads.

reminds
Activity 7: Reminds me of...

Have the learner read a book and as they go through the story think or talk about what the various details in the story remind them of.

Purpose

This activity helps learners activate prior knowledge and make connections with what they are reading so that they get a deeper understanding of the text and better retain the information.

  • Step 1

    Ask the learner to pick a story they want to read. Look at the cover and the title of the story. Talk about something it reminds the learner of. Such as: if the book has a many flowers, the learner should talk about a time where they saw or collected many flowers.

  • Step 2

    Begin reading the story. Stop reading if anything from the book reminds the learner of something. If it reminds them of something, say, for example:

    When I read… “that the main character went to a park to play with a friend”

    It reminded me of… “when I went to play with my friends in the park”

  • Step 3

    Keep going until the end of the book.

  • Additional Exercise

    This activity can be done in writing as well. Ask the learner to create two columns on a sheet of paper and title them as follows:

    1. When I read….

    2. It reminded me of....

    Ask the learners to fill these in as they read.

wh
Activity 8: WH Questions

Read a story or watch a video with a partner and take turns asking each other WH questions such as: Who, What, Where, When, Why.

Purpose

This activity helps learners get a deeper understanding of the story by ensuring that they are thinking about different elements of the story.

  • Step 1

    Think of a story to tell the learner.

  • Step 2

    Next, begin telling the learner the story and stop whenever they think they have a WH question about something happening, or about something that might happen in the story. Use the question mark below to help the learner frame different types of questions.

  • Step 3

    Finally, ask the learner to ask WH questions at the end of the book.

    These could include questions that expect the learner to:

    - Recall different parts of the story,

    - Make connections to themselves, the world or another story or

    - Questions that prompt the learner to think about new learning (e.g., vocabulary words or new concepts).

  • Additional Exercise

    Using the question mark below, ask the learner to write as many questions as they want about the story. Then, have another person answer the questions. The other person can do the same for the learner. The learner can choose to ask these questions at any point...maybe do one round of questions before reading, then one during the story and finally, one round of WH questions after the story is finished!

  • Alternate Exercise

    Follow the same steps but while watching a video instead of reading a story.