A Literacy Night is a great way to show how integrating literacy through physical activity is simple and can improve reading and writing abilities. You can work with classroom teachers, the PTO, and the community to put this event together. Here are a few physical activity ideas to include in the event to support your school’s efforts.
This company called the Alphabet Workout has a number of free and affordable activities that focus on teaching phonics and letters to young children struggling to learn this topic. One great activity to get exercise and improve the basics of reading at the same time is yoga. In this activity, a set of cards with letters on them correspond to different yoga poses. Each card has a picture of a child doing the pose on the front along with a short story about the pose on the back of the card for the teacher to read. Older students can read the story themselves as well as do the poses independently. Learn more about the benefits and how to incorporate yoga into your classroom.
These activities are another great way to help with basic letter recognition, spelling, sight words, and other vocabulary needs. There are several different ways to run this activity. The first is to show this YouTube video. In the video, participants practice drawing letters by using their bodies. It teaches writing and letter recognition in a creative way.
For a different use of the alphabet, you can place a chart or image such as the one below up in the activity area. Challenge participants to spell a sight word, vocabulary word, their name, or a short sentence. The participant must find each letter in the word or words and do the exercises associated with those letters. The versatility this activity allows is what makes using it so exciting.
Chalkboard Writing Race
In this game, you can challenge participants to work on various aspects of literacy. You have two or three teams lined up a good distance from a chalkboard. Much like a relay race, the team takes turns running to the board while writing one letter at a time until they spell out a word you have given them verbally. Like the other games, you can be flexible here. You may choose to already have a sentence or two on the board with errors, and each person in the team can then find and fix the error when they run up to the board. Or, you may choose to have them find the main topics in a paragraph and other underlying points based on a story you can have them read at the start.
Please note that these are just 3 very flexible activities that will make a literacy night fun. When discussing the night with your team, be sure to discuss other aspects of literacy, such as speaking, listening, and reasoning skills. Literacy is more than just reading and writing. It’s about being able to listen and communicate effectively in an ever-changing world. Good luck with your literacy night!
- Online Professional Development course: Integrating Literacy into Physical Education
- PTO Today Article: How To Run a Successful Family Night
- Literacy Statistics: Begin to Read
About the Author:
Charles Silberman is a physical education and health teacher with 14 years of teaching experience. He has become a leader and advocate for incoming physical educators by running workshops on teaching in limited space at staff in-services and conferences, assisting with new teacher orientations, and other initiatives. He has experience writing curriculum from scratch and writing published information specific to physical education in state and nationally recognized publications and websites. Charles has also created a niche as a physical education specialist who fuses technology and primary instructional subjects into physical education lessons. Contact info: [email protected] Also visit his new website which has some great resources for first year physical education teachers: http://newphysicaleducator.com