Building a literate community
Throughout the school year, teachers
and students work together to build a learning community where everyone
shares in the teaching and learning that takes place in the classroom.
Here are some ways to think about involving parents, students and community
members in helping to promote the importance of reading and writing within
a community of learners. See if there are one or two ideas that you would
be willing to try this year. Remember, any idea can be modified to fit
your context and your students’ needs. Plus, you might have another
idea of your own to add!
- Ask parents to come in and bring
any reading materials with them. These can be favorite books from childhood
or adolescence, magazines they enjoy now, or a manual they use at work.
Anything they read that they can use to explain some type of reading
behavior to the children. Other school staff or local community members
could also be used for this purpose.
- Send home a survey with the children
that asks questions about the reading and writing that takes place at
home and/or at their parents’ work. Discuss these in class.
- Brainstorm different reading
and writing behaviors with the students. Then create a chart with these
ideas and have the children tally those they see at home. This can be
done for a week or a month.
- Have the students bring in their
favorite books from when they were younger. Set aside time to have the
children share the books and why they are special to them. If students
do not have the book at home, they can borrow it from the library or
draw the cover.
- Invite librarians or bookstore
owners/employees to discuss their work and how they help people with
books and other reading materials.
- Invite local authors to talk
about their writing process. These do not need to be nationally published
authors, just anyone who writes for personal reasons or who has been
published in a local paper, magazine, etc.
- Have the students brainstorm questions
to ask these visitors and ways to record and use the information they
Key words: community, parents, reading, literacy