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.

100 Most Frequent Words in Books for Beginning Readers
These words are listed in order of frequency. Access requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.

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.

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.

Cheryl Sigmon's Website
An extensive introduction to Four Blocks reading instruction strategy, free handouts, and learning games.

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.

"The Dance"
In this scripted lesson students learn test-taking skills related to reading comprehension questions.

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.

Fact vs. Opinion (Part I) and Fact vs. Opinion (Part II)
Designed for grades 6-8, these lessons help students understand the difference between fact and opinion and provide practice.

Fact vs. Opinions in Advertisements
Students develop criteria for determining statements of opinion and practice discerning statements of opinion in advertisements.

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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