Sunday, January 15, 2012

Literacy Bags

I am slightly obsessed with the idea of literacy bags. I heard about them a few years back and hope to write a grant to make them when I have a class of my own one day. A literacy bag is basically a book bag that is themed. In each bag are books that fit the theme, a manipulative that fits the theme, an activity or journal to do something hands-on, and more. They are a great tool to encourage reading with families. Imagine my surprise when I found out my public library just made them for the public to check-out! I can't be more excited!!!

About a month ago our library started Sophie Reads. Sophie is our library mascot (don't as me why). There are over 25 different themes ranging from siblings, feelings, trains, dinosaurs, pond, bears, and more. The literacy bags include 4-5 picture or board books (geared for ages 1-5), a video or music CD, a manipulative (like a puzzle or dolls), a book for adults (normally parenting related), and a page of songs to sing or finger plays related to the theme. Here is the one we just got for Transportation:

The books
The puzzle included (just right for my little tot)
List of songs and finger-plays, along with a DVD
The book for adults FYI: This book has great ideas
The bag all the materials go in. This is considered only ONE check out!
This literacy bag is perfect for my toddler and can get me back on track with implementing 5 A Day Books in a easy way. To read more about 5 A Day Books go to the Imagination Tree to learn more. That being said my 5 year old also really loves the bags (he normally picks the themes). If your library doesn't have them you can make them yourself and adjust them to the age that works for you. As I mentioned I want to make them for my class of upper elementary students. For example, I may make a cloth bag with a Ancient Egypt theme. I could include various levels of Non-Fiction books and some easy fiction (I am thinking something they could read in a week), Ancient Egypt Toob toys (Toobs are great for these), and maybe an activity where they write some hieroglyphs.Their really is no limit to ideas. Most of the things you could get at garage sales or used book stores. I'm getting all excited again! Here is an amazing website with fabulous ideas from a teacher named Mrs. Madden.
Mrs. Madden's bags she made for students. Can't wait to do this!!!

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