• Working on Literacy at Home

    Reading Activities for Home

    Suggested activities beginning readers

    As you read with your child tonight, ask them...

    • How to hold the book correctly.
    • Turn the pages one at a time.
    • To point to the cover, title, spine, title page, title and illustrations.
    • To hunt for a letter they are working on learning.
    • To point to where you start reading.
    • To show you which way your finger moves under the words when you read.
    • To count how many words in a sentence.
    • To point to the punctuation mark. Ask what kind of punctuationmark it is and when it’s used.
    • To count how many letters in a word.
    • Where your finger goes when you get to the end of the line.
    • To track the words as you read.
    • Is the book fiction or non-fiction?
    • To make a personal connection to the story.
    • What the story is about?
    • To point to which letter gets a capital in a sentence.


    Suggested activities for the intermediate readers

    As you read with your child tonight, ask them...

    • To make a prediction based on the title and illustrations
    • To hunt for a word they are working on.
    • To tell you the sound the first letter in a word makes.
    • To determine how many syllables are in a word read.
    • To blend the sounds you read.
    • To think of a word that rhymes with a word in the story, or to offer the word that comes next when stories are told in a rhyme pattern.
    • Specific questions about events in the story- particularly who, what, when and where the story is taking place.
    • Who the characters are.
    • What the setting of the story is.
    • What the problem is in the story and how it was solved. How would they solve the problem?
    • What happened first in the story?
    • What happened in the middle ofthe story?
    • What happened at the end of the story?
    • To name all the letters on the page, including capital and lower case.
    • The sounds of all the letters on the page.


    Suggested activities for advanced readers

    As you read with your child tonight, ask them...

    •  To blend beginning sound and end of words when sounds are given to them. Ex: /c/- /at/ is cat.
    • To say the sounds of all the letters in a word.
      Challenge them to sound out short words, saying the beginning middle and end sounds and blending them.
      To segment a word in a book into all its sounds and letters. Ex: bat would be /b//a//t/.
    • To come up with their ownquestions to ask you about specific events in the story.
    • To retell the events of the story in order, including key details like setting, characters, problem, and solution.
    • To describe the character’s traits.
    • To compare characters in the story.
    • To compare characters to characters in other stories.
    • To compare and contrast two books.
    • To compare and contrast the events of two characters from two different stories.
    • How the characters feel and why.
    • To describe the role of the author and illustrator, and find their names on the cover.
    • To sound out words on a page and answer questions about what they read. 

    From Ms. V's Crazy Kindergarten 

    Letter and Word Work Activities

    1. Match the Letters in the Bag -- Ask the student to find the letters that are the same, and put them in a line.  Students should say the name of each letter as they line them up from left to right. 


    1. Match Letters to an Alphabet Chart – Ask the student to match the letters from the bag to the letters on the chart.  As they place the letter on the chart, they should name the letter and the picture on the chart.  Ask the student to give the letter sound, if they know it.


    1. Match Uppercase and Lowercase Letters – Ask the student to find the capital letter that matches each lowercase letter in their bag.  They should name the letters as they line them up. Teach them how to use the alphabet chart for help. 


    1. Sort by Color – Ask the student to find all of the “color” letters and name them as they put them in a line.  Repeat with each color/style that is in the bag.


    1. Name Letters Left to Right – Ask the student to put all of the letters in a line and name them as they line them up.  Encourage speed. “Let’s see how fast you can do this”. There is no specific sequence, they just grab a letter from the bag, name it, and add it to the line…quickly. 


    1. Name a Word that Begins with that Letter – Ask the student to pick a letter from his/her bag, say the letter, and say a word that begins with that letter.  For example, the child might pick a b and say “b – book”. If they are having trouble thinking of a word, encourage them to look at the chart. 


    1. Name the Letter that Begins the Word – Say a word and ask the student to find that letter on the chart that makes the sound at the beginning of your word.  For example, say, “Find the letter that you hear at the beginning of book”.  The student points to b. 


    1. Find a Letter that Makes that Sound – Ask the student to find the letter on the chart that makes a given sound.  For example, “Find the letter that says /t/”.

    From "8 Ways of Working with Letters" by Jan Richardson

    Practicing Writing at Home


    • Writes name at top of paper
    • Write from left to right with letters touching writing lines
    • Place spaces between words – Use a finger or spaceman (popsicle stick)
    • Writes from top to bottom of paper
    • Use uppercase and lowercase letters
    • Use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence
    • Use punctuation at the end of a sentence (period or question mark)
    • Use drawing, guided writing, and dictating to write
    • Use letter/sound knowledge, sight words, and word walls to write simple words
    • Write correct beginning and ending consonant sounds 


    • Consistently use correct, basic capitalization and punctuation 
    • Write in complete sentences
    • Write correct beginning, middle, and ending sounds
    • Use and spell word wall words correctly
    • Be able to read own writing to share with others
    • Understand there are different types of writing (lists, letters, etc.)
    • Plan Stories (brainstorm verbally, make a list with help)
    • Create and publish a variety of writings (stories, lists, letters, etc.) 


    • Continues to use sight words and additional grade level words correctly 
    • Begin to use voice, audience, and purpose in writing
    • Consistently use correct capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, tense, and subject/verb agreement
    • Organize writing with beginning, middle, and ending
    • Choose main topic to write about
    • Add details to support main idea
    • Use editing tools (partner or adult) to revise first draft
    • Produce a variety of writings (poems, stories, letters, personal narratives) 

    Modified from Primary Junction

    Year Long Literacy Goals


    • Identifies upper case letters
    • Identifies lower case letters
    • Identifies letter sounds
    • Recognizes and generates rhyming words
    • Understands concepts about print (identifies title, where to begin reading, reading from left to right, one-to-one word matching, return sweep, understands purpose of punctuation in reading, difference between letters and words, locating the beginning and ending of a word)
    • Reads high frequency words (word wall words)
    • Reads at a level D or E by the end of the year (see example of this level of text below)

    Level D text example

    Level D example from http://www.mondopub.com/c/@7Drr4zFt2jJmM/Pages/product.html?nocache@1+record@P2722


    • Uses writing conventions
    • Forms letters correctly (legibility)
    • Draws detailed/ representational pictures
    • Writes from left to right
    • Writes a simple sentence
    • Uses inventive spelling to make letter/sound associations
    • Matches picture to writing topic
    • Uses space between words
    • Uses punctuation at the end of a sentence (period or question mark)
    • Begins a sentence with a capital letter
    • Is able to use standard spelling for some high frequency words (word wall words)
    • Represents sounds in words with letters (see example of typical end of the year kindergarten writing below)

    Kindergarten end of year writing sample

    Kindergarten writing sample from http://readingandwritingproject.org/resources/student-work/student-writing#kindergarten