Grade: Elementary

#2399. Literacy Centers for 2nd Semester Kindergarten

Building Blocks, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Oct 7 23:04:14 PDT 2001 by Debbie Harrison (
London Towne ES, Centreville, VA

Literacy Centers for the 2nd Semester Kindergarten

If you have time, sharing after literacy centers is a valuable activity. Everyone is invited to share and those that were reading or don't have a product, share words with us. They love this part and it reinforces the tasks - they are not allowed to share if they don't stay on task.

 Buddy reading-- put two copies of books (familiar or unfamiliar texts.) Then they work with their buddy to read, then draw their favorite part.
 Put a word list inside an easy reader (I put mine on a tab that sticks up from the back cover) and have them use a pipecleaner bent into a magnifying glass shape to locate those words in the book. They can put their initials in a post-it inside the book to show they have done this center.
 Word sorts (see Words Their Way)
 Handwriting sheets-- like a frame with blanks or laminated alphabet cards for practice.
 Picture Dictionaries
 Browsing box of leveled books (These can be books you introduced during guided reading lessons.)
 Rainbow spelling--post a few words for them to copy 3 times each with colored markers. OR they can outline a word several times on big computer paper, each time with a different color marker.
 Stamp a story with picture stamps or stickers (limit the #stickers)--a rebus type story.
 Living Books software on the computer
 Surveys-they can ask the other children their favorite colors and write the color words down, ages, days of the week or favorite foods. To make it easier, have a predone form--they can then use tally marks or write names under each section. Example: favorite season or pet
 Writer's bags: fill a notebook pouch from the dollar store with interesting markers, colored pencils, tiny notebooks or list pads
 Writing words with Q tips and water on the blackboard or small slates
 Scratch and sniff words or letters (sprinkle colored jello powder onto white glue lines for letters/words)
 Rainbow chains are a great way of keeping track of the words a student knows. The student writes the words he successfully spelled on Friday's final test on a construction paper chain. The children love to see their chain grow.
 Fish for words--On 3"x5" cards print the words, fold in half and fasten with a paper clip. Place the cards in a large fish bowl. Using a toy fishing pole or a long stick, place a magnet on the string. The students go fishing for a spelling word to practice.
 Word family of the week poster (for example. --at --an, etc.) I change it each week.
--they think of a rhyming word to write on a post-it (cat, fat, hat, that, sat...), sign it and add to the poster
 Mystery word on the pocket chart-reveal a clue each day--they write their guesses on cards and put them in the pocket chart. This could be a "Guess the Covered Word" activity by having the word in a sentence and they have to figure out a word that would make sense.
 KidPix for stamping word wall words--have a chart of the words nearby for easy reference
 Sequencing story events with picture cards (easier) or comic strip frames(harder)
 Read the room, using a pointer or eyeglasses
 File folder games
 Write the room, using clipboards (can alter this by having them write when they find words with certain letters or capitals or sounds.) They copy words that they can read. They must read them to a friend and to me and then print each word out again. You can also let them go out into the hall to look for words.
 Book making of any kind
 Blank books--Cute seasonable notepad pages make interesting covers for a variety of books. Use a single page for the cover and cut 3 or 4 blank pieces of paper to staple to it to make an Instant Blank Book.
 Read shoebox books
 Put the alphabet tiles or foam letters in order or letter cards in a pocket chart
 Match words to chart poems
 Poems and rebus stories on the overhead; can add a pointer or lift the words off the screen.
 Have one student a day write a journal entry on the overhead and read it aloud.
 Story writing on big chart paper--this works well with pairs of children or making chapter stories.
 Cut out letters from the newspaper for the letter of the week or for a word (they can either find the entire word or find the letters to spell it on their papers.)
 After reading Jan Brett stories, point out to the children the way she has borders on her later books. Then when the children go to centers have some pre-made sentence strips with words such as Mom, Dad, happy, sad, dog, cat, Me, etc. The children then write the word in the center of a white piece of construction paper with a black crayon. They then draw pictures around the word that illustrate the word with black crayon again. Then, using watercolors they paint the illustrations.
 Match upper case to lower case letters
 Look at collections of themed books or books by a certain author
 Make a pictionary
 Write notes to each other - put in a classroom a mailbox
 Make cards -- get well, Happy Birthday, I love you Mom/Dad, Happy holiday; stamps can be used for these too. Put in stickers or themed stamps...a bunch of titles such as Happy Birthday, I Love You, Thank You,Get Well, etc. and yarn, ribbon, wiggly eyes, letter and picture stencils, etc...Have various sample cards for the students to look at for help, if needed. They can make cards for their family, teachers around the building, and students within the room. Listen to books on tape
 Make stationery using stickers or stamps to add to the writing center
 Retelling a story with flannel board pieces or props
 Computer
 Alphabet stamps, both capitals and lowercase, and 1 inch grid paper. The kids can stamp words by putting 1 letter per box and skip 1 box for the space in between words.
 Draw the favorite part of a story
 Use interactive charts, manipulating text
 Big books
 Lap sized Chalkboard (with chalk and a sock for erasing.) Include laminated alphabet and number charts, and word lists for them to copy for writing practice.
 Write the words from an easy book on sentence strips and cut apart all the words. Place the words in a random order in a pocket chart. They have to match the words to the book, so it reads just like the book.
 Laminated word search puzzles
 a velcro abc board with capitals, lower case letters, and pictures to match
 Shopping - laminated on sentence strips and bind into books pictures of food, toys, clothing, and anything else you can find. Label all pictures clearly. Writing utensils and "list paper" - small memo books, list type of paper (long strips of lined paper).
 Matching game- use a sentence strip with a word and a picture of what that word represents, rubber alphabet letters, real objects to match words. Students can
match letters, words, pictures, or all three.
 An interactive word wall with: an author's place--with pictures of the characters we are studying and name cards for them; a color words chart and cards or pictures to match; letter cards on themed shapes, like seashells for June, to build words with
 Edible Word wall words - Use graham crackers as "paper" and a plastic sandwich bag filled with a spoonful of marshmallow creme as the "pencil". Cut a tiny tip of the bag (the same way you do when decorating cakes etc.) and fill the bags with the creme. Tell the kids to use their tongues as "erasers" and once they write four words to erase them and write the others. You could also "Eat Your Spelling Words" by using pretzel sticks to spell the words.
 Bingo and Word-O
 Revisit Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Have a worksheet with a palm tree on it, and put out the alphabet stampers. The kids stamp the letters up the tree. Later, revise the worksheet to get them to fill in missing letters in ABC order.
 Make a special place for reading--a kid's pool lined with body
pillows or tent. A follow up activity would be to write the title of the book they read and their own name, or what they liked the book.
 Build a fort of cereal boxes hot-glued together to read environmental print
 Egg Spellers-Write easy words on small pieces of paper and place them inside plastic eggs. Students pick the eggs from an Easter basket, and then must write that word.
 Word Puzzles-Write words on different colors of tag board. Cut them apart in a variety of ways. The students then put the puzzle back together to form the words.
 Make a transparency with a few lines. The kids practice writing letters or words on the transparency. The students then show off their work on the overhead projector for all to see.
 Use foam letters (quieter!) or magnetic letters on the overhead to practice making words or names
 Names and Syllables: Laminate a piece of poster board that has been divided into sections (approx. 4 or 5). In each section place a picture of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, clapping hands, (Math Their Way has a great hand clap icon for patterning). Students say and clap the syllables in the name and sort according to claps. e.g. Ash - Ley is a two clap name and goes into the 2 box.
 Sort name cards by beginning letters - on a piece of poster board draw 26 squares and label with letters of the alphabet. I labeled each rectangle with stickers and a variety of fonts. Students sort the names according to first letter.
 Sorting names by number of letters: on poster board make a grid of rectangles. In the 1st write 1, the next 2 etc. Students then take the name labels and count the number of letters in the word and place in correct rectangle.
 Three ring binder of poems and songs we have done in class to read (have a picture clue on each poem)
 Poetry dice--make a die by cutting the tops off 2 child-sized milk cartons and putting them together. Cover with paper and have a picture clue for a familiar poem on each side. Children roll the die and recite the poem that it lands on.
 Poetry Box --Laminate poems and make another set that are the lines cut apart. The kids put the lines together and glue them and illustrate it.
 Nursery Rhymes-- children make the character in the poem, and then they glue a small print out of the poem onto the character.
 Partner Word Step- print the letters of the alphabet on a large piece of paper. Have two partners pair up together to play this game. One student reads the word aloud. The other child must step on the letters to spell the word.
 "Word Puzzle-Word Search" Pick five words from a big book and write them on different color sentence strips. Then cut the words apart to form individual letters and place each word that's cut up into a plastic bag (therefore, each book will have
five bags with one word in each bag. The children are to try and make the words that are in the bags and find these words in the story. Sometimes they can make a word but cannot find in the big book. Other times they cannot seem to arrange the letters to form a word so they keep looking for clues in the book.
 Turtle Spelling-take a half sheet of brightly colored tag board and put a simple sticker (dog, cat, bug, ant, etc) at the top. Then draw however many blanks at the bottom of the page that spell the word, like three for cat, dog, etc. The children then stretch the word slowly as they say it and put magnetic letters that they hear in the order that they hear them. one in each blank.

Resources: What are the other kids doing...while you teach small groups? Creative Teaching Press--the book has 30 centers that you can easily use in any classroom. Some can be the same for weeks at a time... others you can change to go along with a specific skill or theme. It was about $20.
Developing Literacy Using Reading Manipulatives. 2333. $15.95 from Creative Teaching Press.