Literacy Fun

Literacy Fun

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Introduce a large variety of musicAsk kids to notice the difference in the writing that different music inspires.

Write an original (positive) “RAP song” about your program or school. RAP stands for Rhythm and Poetry. (Just as in reading, music involves breaking codes. Involving youth in music is helping them learn to read)

  • Have a parent/family event with your Rappers and invite families to join in!.
  • Jump rope to the raps.
  • Check out poetry books from media center/local library and try rapping to the various poems. (Dr. Seuss may work!)
  • RAP TEAM AND SCHOOL CHEERS!  A great way to encourage community spirit!
  • Video tape the kids rapping.


Take a sentence or paragraph and try to write it backwards. Also…Learn to say the ABC’s Backwards!

Need: wax paper and aerosol shaving cream.
Lay out wax paper flat on a table. Children spray a large pile of shaving cream on the area. Have them spread out the cream and practice their writing skills. This activity will be very helpful with fine motor skills–also visual and tactical learners will benefit. The more senses you use, the more you learn. (This is also fun for kids who already write-it doubles as art!)

Use Small Ziploc storage bags, food coloring and thick styling gel (dippity-do gel)
Measure about 4 tablespoons of styling gel into a Zip-loc bag and add several drops of food coloring. Close bag while removing any air and then have kids mix food coloring around until gel is all one color. When mixed, children lay the bags on a flat surface and practice writing their letters or numbers. Good for improving fine motor skills. (Thick paint also works in a baggie)

Choose a letter that you would like the children to learn– and write it on their hands with a magic marker in the morning. Throughout the day ask the children what the letter is and talk about it. Children may enjoy showing off their temporary body art!

WE’VE GOT MAIL! (Snail mail and E-mail)

  • Send and receive letters and introduce the idea of a program post office. Do this with pen pals or kids in other programs!
  • Make own letterhead stationary….
  • Make a video of your group to say “Hi” to the group to which you’re writing…
  • Study stamps from different countries.

WRITING, (Literacy) and KINDNESS Lesson
Trace each child’s hand on a piece of paper. Ask children to think of different ways people can be kind to others. WRITE THEIR IDEAS on each finger of the hand drawing…The tracing can be completed as described, or cut out, mounted, and decorated.

AIR WRITING: Have each child turn sideways with their right hand on their right shoulder. (If left-handed-do it on the left)

  • Ask them to WRITE WORDS OR NUMBERS IN THE AIR using their right elbow.
  • You could say, “Write (or print) your name,” “Write the name of your favorite food,” “Write your address,” etc.
  • Then have them turn and put their left elbow on their left shoulder and continue the activity.
  • Ask the students for ideas of what to write or have different students lead the activity.

When you get back to the room, depending on the age of the child—have them WRITE AND/OR DRAW the things they saw or collected

Click here for suggested supplies in “Writing and Language” Centers.



  • Click here for some Twister ideas and games!
  • Illustrate various tongue twisters.
  • Write a book of tongue twisters.
  • Have a tongue twister contest between groups in your program; have youth write twisters that will stump other groups.
  • Practice Tongue Twisters!
  • They’re also good for Drama Club Diction –or transition line waiting!

Telling jokes is good for kids! It increases their confidence, helps to remember a story in order-relate it to others – and stimulate their thinking!

  • Give kids a special notebook in which to collect their favorite jokes. This can be a good rainy day activity…
  • Jokes are also a good way to make transition line waiting go by quickly!  Click here for jokes for kids!

ADD A COMEDY CORNER TO YOUR ROOM AREA… Especially good for middle school and high scool!

  • Use jokes that you may find here (Click) or comedy strips from the day’s newspaper.
  • Encourage kids to submit their own comedy pieces to be displayed in that area. Laughter really is the best medicine and it is a great idea to keep some humor in the program.
  • Make sure all jokes and comic strips are clean and contain no offensive pictures or words


During a transition or line time…Tell jokes, knock-knocks, riddles/brain-teasers, word doodles and tongue twisters.  Share the fun with your kids!  Put this into your planning… Keep a supply that is ready to go on a clip-board or in the back of your Parents Info box! Use them waiting in line, with a few ‘bored kids” or while waiting for parents at the end of the day!

JOKE AND PUNCH LINE Activity… Great for connecting and for an ice-breaker!

  • Set-up: Write a joke on one card and a punch line on another. Be sure to mix the cards up. The number of different jokes depends on the size of the group.
  • Give each person a card. Explain that they may have a joke or a punch line on the card. On a given signal, they are to walk around the group trying to find the other part of their joke/punch line.
  • When they find their other half, you may ask them to get to know their new partner by asking things like favorite ice cream or dream vacation etc…
  • When this is done, everyone can return to a circle and, with their partner, tell their joke.

Give the group a limerick to finish. Example–“There was a young girl named Fran.” (Make sure the participants content is appropriate!)
When all have written their limericks–have everyone read their poems out loud.
Extension ideas:

  • These could also be compiled into a booklet-and/or the children’s journals if your program does journaling
  • They can also be illustrated

***Idea: Write and Illustrate RIDDLES!

The following are a few riddles about animals — written by a group of first grade children. Consider doing this with your group. Have each child write a riddle-and then draw a picture of the riddle with the answer! Make copies of all and compile into a booklet…I have an orange beak.
I wobble back and forth.
I have a white stomach.
I am black.
I slide on the ice.
Who am I?
A. A penguin

I have two legs.
I have wings, but I can’t fly.
I eat plants.
I can go fast.
I have a long neck.
Who am I?
A. An ostrich

I am tall.
I eat leaves.
I have a long neck.
I am orange and brown.
I have long legs.
Who am I?
A. A giraffe

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