Planning Literacy Instruction: Activities & Examples

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  • 0:03 Literacy Instruction
  • 0:38 Reading Strategies
  • 2:41 Writing Strategies
  • 3:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

What is literacy, and how should we teach it? In this lesson, we'll look at how to teach reading and writing, with specific examples and activities to help guide educators.

Literacy Instruction

Daryl is a middle school literacy teacher. He wants to know the best way to teach his students how to read and write. Literacy is the combination of reading and writing. There are many different ways to plan literacy instruction. Should Daryl give lectures on the symbolism in certain books? Or, have his students discuss the book in small groups? Should he encourage students to jump right in with their writing or spend some time planning first? To help Daryl out, let's look at activities and examples of how he might want to plan his literacy instruction for his class.

Reading Strategies

Daryl knows that some of his students struggle with reading, but he's not sure what to do. Should he just give them a book and let them read? Sit and read aloud to them while they follow along? How should he help?

Often, readers struggle with comprehension, or understanding what they've read. To help his readers then, Daryl will want to boost their reading comprehension, but how? One way is to focus on metacognitive reading strategies, or tactics that allow students to think about what they've read and what works for them as readers. For example, teaching students to identify the main idea or to make inferences or predictions can help them overall with reading. But just as important as those strategies is teaching them how to recognize what works for them. How can Daryl make metacognitive readers? Asking questions can teach students to think strategically.

For example, instead of simply telling a student who gets a right answer that they did a good job, Daryl could ask them questions.

He could ask, What helped you understand that passage? Or, how did you figure that out? Consistently guiding students to think about what works for them as readers will build their metacognitive reading ability.

In addition to focusing on metacognitive reading strategies, Daryl can also use graphic organizers, which are ways to visually organize information. For example, when reading an article that compares things, Daryl can encourage his students to use a Venn diagram, which shows overlapping areas of similarity next to differences of two things, people, or ideas.

Finally, Daryl can help boost his students' reading skills by exposing them to a variety of real-world texts. Articles, poetry, short stories, plays, and novels are just a few examples of texts that Daryl can use in his classroom. By exposing students to a variety of texts, he is preparing them to do different types of reading and teaching them how to approach different types of texts.

Writing Strategies

Okay, Daryl feels like he understands how to help his students grow with regards to reading, but how can he help them improve as writers? There are a few things that Daryl can do to improve his students' writing.

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