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Engaging Literacy Lesson Ideas For Your Kindergarten Classroom

As educators learn more about the Science of Reading and implement a Structured Literacy program, we must develop new ways to keep students engaged and learning during a literacy lesson. You can find even more ideas in my Kindergarten Morning Meeting Ideas post!

During the school year, I try out a variety of lessons that support the skills I am teaching my students. I ensure that my whole group lessons align with my scope and sequence and use assessment to guide my planning.

These are a few of the things that I have tried:

Word Chains Literacy Lesson

Sound deletion and substitution in words are complex phonemic awareness skills that students need to develop to become better readers and writers. To help students develop these skills, I like to use word chains.

I pick a word chain that matches the phonics skills that I have already taught my students. I write the first word from the chain on my whiteboard and have one of my students sound out the word and blend it. Then we do the same thing as a whole class. Next, I start our word chain:

Me: “We have the word box, but what I really want is fox. What do I have to change?”
Student might say, “Erase the ‘b’ and put an ‘f'”
(I will erase the ‘b’ and write an ‘f’)
Me: “Let’s check our word. Sound it out with me: /f/ /o/ /x/. Fox. Did we do it right?”
(Class will respond with a yes or thumbs up)
Me: “Oh no! I didn’t want a fox, I wanted fog. What do we need to change?”

We continue this way until I have done several words or completed the word chain.

If a student wants to change the wrong sound. We sound it out together so they can hear the word blended together to determine if they substituted the right sound. I help them correct the word by isolating the phonemes and pointing to the graphemes on the whiteboard.

Name Analysis

I do this activity at the end of every school year, and it is an absolute hit with my students. They get so excited to see their name broken down by their classmates, and this is an excellent review of all the literacy concepts we have learned throughout the year.

I always start my lesson by reminding students that names are special and that they do not always follow the phonics rules we have learned.

Some of the things that students may notice about their peers’ names:

Whiteboard with an example of the name analysis activity written on it.
  • Number of syllables
  • Number of letters, vowels, consonants
  • The uppercase letter at the beginning of their name
  • Vowel teams
  • Long vowels or short vowel sounds
  • Digraphs
  • Silent e
  • Open vs closed syllables

I do a few names every day; it is a fun way to reinforce phonics rules!

I Have Who Has

Playing games with students is a great way to teach, review or reinforce skills. I Have Who Has games are easy to do, and you can use them for any concept.

You can start by using this set to reinforce letter identification, and as students build their understanding, you can have them use letter sounds.

Never played an I Have Who Has game? I have a whole blog post explaining it (it’s really easy to play, I promise).

More Literacy Lesson Ideas

Need more ideas? Don’t forget to check out my Morning Meetings blog post!

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