Literacy and Reading Skills

25 Ideas to Motivate Young Readers
These ideas are designed for elementary students, and many will work with middle school, too.

103 Things to do Before/During/After Reading
These tips from Jim Burke can be applied to a wide range of grade and ability levels.

ABCD Watermelon
In this online video game, students practice sequencing letters of the alphabet.

The Alphabet is Historic
The three lessons in this K-2 curriculum unit include short historical introductions to the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans, hyperlinks to selected illustrations, and suggestions for activities.

Beck's Literacy Wiki
Here's your one-stop site for literacy forms, ideas, and conversation. Look to the menu to the right to get started. A middle school literacy coach shares her materials and ideas.

Beginning Reading and Writing
Activities for the youngest readers and writers.

Between the Lions
Sponsored by PBS with a new lesson every week. Lessons are tied to specific skills.

Building a Case for Clues
Students make, confirm and revise predictions using the reading context. This activity is designed for grades 3-5 and includes an optional graphic organizer.

Building Reading Comprehension Through Think-Alouds
The teacher will model the think-aloud strategy for students using the poem "Dream Variation." Components of think-alouds will be introduced, as well as type of text interactions. Students will develop the ability to use think-alouds to aid in reading comprehension tasks. Designed for grades 6-8.

Character Development: Nanavi, A Girl from Benin, West Africa
Students see how Nanavi's life changes from 2003 when she was nine years old to 2006 when she is twelve years old. They use information from two video segments to complete a chart, then write a statement to express the ways Nanavi changed. Recognizing the ways in which characters change and develop throughout a story is one way students are able to respond and react to literature. Identifying ways characters change helps students understand character motivation, plot and other literary elements. Lesson plan includes 2 QuickTime videos and handout.

Character Scrapbook
In this online activity, students respond to reading by creating a scrapbook of a character. They use options to create a portrait and then list 10 things about the character before printing.

Classroom Strategies
A list of teaching strategies for before, during, and after reading. A column to the right indicates whether the strategy supports vocabulary, comprehension, or writing. If there's one you haven't heard of, click on it for a thorough explanation.

Close Reading
Lesson plans, strategies, and activities for teaching the skill of close reading.

Dolch Basic Sight Words
This 3-page story, "The Best Thing in the World," contains all 220 Dolch Basic Sight Words, color-coded for 5 different grade levels. Access requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.

Campaign Promises
In this short video, a voter analyzes a political ad, identifying generalizing, scare tactics, and exaggeration. Follow links on the right to lessons on reading fine print and truth in advertising.

First 100 sight words
Students can use these digital flashcards to review sight words. Headsets recommended.

First Sentence Prompts
You can't judge a book by its cover, but can you judge it by its first sentence? With these simple worksheets, students will exercise their skills of prediction, research, and creative writing. Designed for elementary and middle school.

Four Blocks Teacher Resources
Information, bulletin boards, lesson plan ideas, and related links.

Five Quick Games Build Reading Skills
Appropriate for grades K-8, these quick activities help develop a variety of reading skills.

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