Promoting language and literacy experiences in early childhood education can profoundly impact children positively for the national core standards in language arts (Jaruszewicz, 2013). In particular, research confirms positive correlations between high quality early literacy experiences and later success in school (Barnett & Lamy, 2006). Part of this is creating engaging literacy experiences that create enthusiasm and emerging positive literacy dispositions. One way to engage children in meaningful experiences is to create language and literacy activities that are engaging, interactive, and fun. The concept of a thematic literacy bag, sometimes called a story sack, or backpack, has been used within the classroom as well as an at home activity to support positive literacy experiences. These thematic bags include several language and literacy activities that support childrenâ€™s learning.
To prepare for this discussion, review the , Buddy Bags (Links to an external site.), and Literacy Bags on Pinterest (Links to an external site.) resources for this week as well as the Instructor Guidance for Week Five.
Initial Post: Create a plan for a literacy backpack that can be used within the classroom or at home. Your post must include a visual of what your bag might look like. You can use whichever graphics program you choose to create the visual (e.g., the drawing tools in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint). Be sure to attach your visual to your initial post. Additionally, an explanation for the following contents of your literacy backpack must be included in the message of your initial post:
- Theme of your bag and introduction to the bag (e.g., Back to School, Seasons of the Year, Animals, Apples, Feelings and Emotions).
- Developmental level/age that you would use the activities with.
- Three developmentally appropriate literature selections that could be read to the child, including the title and author.
- Three open-ended questions that the child could discuss after reading the stories.
- Three activities which reflect reading/writing for the developmental level.
- Three language activities that could be done with the child.
- Three manipulatives or additional items that could be added to the bag, with a rationale of why they are important. For example, you may wish to include a puzzle or a stuffed animal that is related to the theme.
Guided Response: Review several of your peersâ€™ posts. Respond to two peers, offering a reflection of the bag from the perspective of a family member who used it with their child. Describe what the strengths are about their bag for addressing the concept of literacy development. Is there anything you would do differently? Constructively provide that feedback for your peer as well. For example you might say, â€œThe questions were well written and help extend the content in the story,â€ or, â€œThe story was engaging, however it was rather difficult and long to read. I might recommend a story that fits the developmental level more appropriately.â€
Additionally, suggest one way that the peer can supplement their bag by including an activity for a non-English speaking child and family. As with prior discussions, though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. This will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with the topic of literacy.