Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Literacy is More Than Books!

When we think of literacy, most people automatically think of books. While books are an important part of becoming literate and reading will be the building blocks of learning throughout life, there is so much more to literacy than reading books in the classroom or at home.

Early childhood presents many opportunities to do activities to extend literacy from books into other domains of learning. Having a narrow view of literacy and just incorporating books in the classroom is a waste of opportunity! Blending literacy through several mediums and curriculum in the classroom engages the class in a meaningful way. Not only will literacy improve, other areas will improve too.

There are several different things that can be done to extend a literacy activity:
  • Incorporate a short video clip relating to the book being read. For example, if the book has an alligator as the main character, a clip with an alligator can be used. Make sure it is engaging!
  • Singing and dancing are amazing ways to get some exercise while exploring a topic. Try to find songs that connect to the book being read and get the crowd participating and having a good time!
  • Fingerplays are great for fine motor skills. There are many classic fingerplays that can be adapted to whatever is needed; or you can simply make your own!
  • Storytelling is fun and interactive. Children pick up on intonation from the teacher and enjoy seeing their teacher act in a fun and silly way to portray a story. 
  • Dramatic play is a must! Children display their understanding of the story while adding their own unique take.
  • Art is very flexible and literacy can be incorporated into any art activity. For example, children focusing on letters of the alphabet may write them with their fingers in colored shaving cream. 
Exposure to books and the joy that comes with reading is an awesome thing that your child will carry with them throughout their lives. With these connections to interactive methods of exploring literacy, their experience will be even better. 


  1. As always, your layout is outstanding. The time and effort you put into your blogs is evident, and it shows your care for the class.
    The topic you covered is one I consider to be of the utmost importance: there is so much more to literacy than reading books in the classroom or at home. So true. In fact, it is almost necessary to incorporate all aspects of literacy in order to achieve the best outcome. Your list was a helpful tool for people to reference when considering these alternative aspects of literacy. I especially appreciated you bring up the component of dramatic play. It is a big factor in children's lives, but it is also a CRUCIAL factor for them as well.

  2. I not only agree but I also really like the content in your post. People tend to be unaware to the many different ways to learn and experience subjects such as reading. Each of your different suggestions brings different senses children can use. Videos use continuous visual and listening stimulations, Art allows children to be able to feel different textures as the experience reading, and the others have the physically move to keep children active. All of these are important.

  3. I really liked how you talked about other ways of "reading" books that incorporates other forms of media. I too really enjoyed all the ways that they presented material. I really thought that using all these methods kept the children's interest for a much longer period of time. When we have young children in the classroom these will be good methods to use!

  4. Missed opportunities are such a good thing to point out that occur in classrooms. Teachers often have very good intentions by reading to their class and think that they are encouraging literacy, but there are so many ways to enhance to learning experience. Encouraging this type of interaction at home too and letting parents know that there is a much more grand opportunity to promote their child's literacy.

  5. I really like how you addressed that literacy is more than just books. Literacy is often perceived as reading books, books, and more books. When children see that literacy can include much more than that such as music, dance, finger plays ect. I believe they will become more interested in reading and literacy because its not what they would have expected. Great topic and examples!