Monday, October 25, 2010

How to Create Kindergarten Literacy Bags

Kindergarten reading activities should be fun and interactive. I like the idea of a literacy bag, and we successfully use one in our homeschool. I found this great book   at our local book store. It has literacy bag ideas for every letter of the alphabet. I use the ideas as a jumping off point and go from there.

What Is a Literacy Bag?

A literacy bag can be an actual bag, bucket, basket, or whatever container you want to use for the activities. The bag is filled with a thematic unit, with the focus on reading and literacy. In the traditional sense, kids check out the literacy bags from their classroom and explore the activities inside. In our homeschool, I provide enough activities to do one a day.

What Goes Inside the Bag?

 You can put anything you want into the bag. Toys, games, worksheets, crafts, music, poetry, or whatever you want to explore for the week. We are just starting this week with our literacy bag, so we're on the letter A. Inside our bag I have 5-6 activities that follow an apple theme and cover reading, phonics, storytelling, art, and math.

How Do I Teach Using the Bag?

I fill the bag with the activities and have her pick one activity a day. I do not tell her what the activity actually is, as being surprised is part of the fun. For example, one of the things in our bag right now is a brown sandwich bag with a green pipe cleaner in it. It's an art project where she will stuff the bag, paint it red, and add a green stem. Today she chose a two page story out of the bag which involved using a real apple to tell the story, which in turn became our snack after the story.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of our literacy bag and show you examples of what I have in the bag for the letter A apple theme. (Literacy Bags Part II) The literacy bag idea can be tweaked for toddlers or preschoolers just by providing age-appropriate lessons. Older kids also like these bags, as more involved puzzles and games can be put inside for independent learning. Happy homeschooling!

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