The Reading Nook

Tips and tools for children's literacy

This is the second in a series of activities contributed by 2015 Summer Reads VISTAs who completed a capstone project.  Capstone projects are intended to benefit all sites and advance the field of children's literacy.

This is the first in a series of activities contributed by 2015 Summer Reads VISTAs who completed a capstone project.  Capstone projects are intended to benefit all sites and advance the field of children's literacy.  For more information on Summer Reads, visit /volunteers/vista/summer-reads-vista.  

Merissa, left, and her partner Kysa at Pre-Service Training

Merissa Louks is a rising sophomore at Bethel University who is studying TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) education.  This summer, she is serving as a Summer Reads VISTA at Andersen Community School and Boys and Girls Club-Southside, both in Minneapolis.

Size of group: 3-5

Appropriate grade level: K-3

Skill practiced: Comprehension; Story-telling; Listening skills; Fluency

Materials: Book or story; props or costumes if desired

Category: Children’s tutor tips

Directions:

1.       Introduce the story and talk about any vocabulary the students might need to know.

Size of group: 3-7
Appropriate grade level: 2-3
Skill practiced: Vocabulary and Spelling
Materials: Paper and pencils, noecards, or a dry-erase board
Category: Lesson plan/activity idea

Directions:
Choose a category, such as "Animals" or "Fruits". Set a timer for one minute, and then let the students write down as many words that could fit into that category as possible. Tally up their scores, and give them extra points for good spelling.

Size of group: 3-10
Appropriate grade level: K-3
Skill practiced: Spelling, vocabulary, alphabet/letter recognition
Materials: Set of different-colored chalk, and a sidewalk outside.
Category: lesson plan/activity idea

Directions:
Give each student their choice of colored chalk and have them write their name on the sidewalk. Then have them come up with words (ideally adjectives) that begin with each letter of their name, in an acrostic poem style.

Size of group: 3-5
Appropriate grade level: 2-3
Skill practiced: Spelling, vocabulary, and rhyming
Materials: Set of Scrabble or Bananagrams tiles
Category: lesson plan/activity idea

Directions:
Set up a word ending template, such as “and” or “ing”. Then give each student a set of consonants and have them try to make words by placing their consonants in front of the endings. Encourage them to use more than one letter at a time, such as “sh” or “str”.

Type of resource: online curriculum
Where to find ithttp://perspectives.tolerance.org/
Appropriate grade level: K-12
Category: websites/resources

Details:

Size of group: 3-6
Appropriate grade level: K-1
Skill practiced: Phonics and decoding, sounds
Materials: Pictures, ideally with the word written, and cards with letters or combinations of letters such as “sh”.
Category: lesson plan/activity idea

Size of group: 3-10
Appropriate grade level: K-3
Skill practiced: Listening, comprehension, and oral communication
Materials: A microphone
Category: lesson plan/activity idea

Directions:
1. Position the group of students in a circle.

2. Explain that each person in the circle is going to tell part of the story, so they need to listen to each other carefully.

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