Literacy truly is behind the majority of activities kids (and adults) enjoy, a fact that is important to illustrate to you student when they seem to be getting burnt out with reading and writing. Of course these things are best instilled through lived experiences and it is vital to remember that literacy is flexible as reading, writing, listening, thinking and speaking are all components of literacy. See below for fun tactics that will bring literacy to life!
Art. Math. Science. Whatever Excites Your Student! Does your student love arts and crafts? Read a book and work together on an art project that ties to the book. Or, have your student read the directions for creating a craft they are interested in and then make it.
Does your student love math? Work on story problems together. Use math and literacy skills to design and build an engineering project together.
Does your student love science? Let them perform experiments that interest them, reading directions, developing hypothesis and recording results. Essentially, take what your student is excited about and subtly work literacy in!
Family Game Night. An effortless way to get students reading and writing is to play a game they are excited about. Most games involve multiple forms of literacy: reading, listening, thinking, speaking and sometimes even writing! Even if the reading and writing is minimal, your student is still being exposed to literacy in a manner that is very fun and engaging to them. Bonus points for your student if they can read the directions and explain to the rest of the family!
What to Read? Let your Student Choose! While there are many alternative ways to engage your student in literacy, don’t forget good old fashioned reading! The trick is to be open to letting your student read what interests them, be it comic books, the newspaper, magazines or picture books! Giving your student the freedom to choose what they would like to read as well as what they would like to read about will greatly enhance their excitement for reading. Further, make reading fun through incorporating tone and expression while you read. Make it funny, make it scary, make it meek, make it mean—all of it will be fun if you can get your student into it!
Storytelling. Have a student full of imagination? Let them tell their own stories! The can write and illustrate a book. They can orally tell you a story. You can give them a list of vocabulary words that they need to include in their story and you can let those words themselves be based in student interest and silliness. You can work to create a story with them. Again, make it funny, make it scary, make it honest—play with it!
We hope that these tactics give you some new and fun ways to bring literacy into your home. After your student has engaged in and enjoyed these activities, lightly remind them that they just had fun with literacy. And always be willing to walk away from an activity if your student is no longer enjoying it.