Think of language and literacy in the school age program as reading and writing in any form.

Including literacy in your after school program is not difficult, but you do need to be intentional about it, otherwise it is easy to forget. Of course you always have a collection of books on hand, but in order to encourage the children to read, you need to bring in new books frequently. Borrow some of the research books from the library that were used to develop the lesson plan and add them to the supply of books for the children to read.

Strategically place some of the research books in other learning centers, too, to encourage additional research and support the learning in these other areas. A lot of school age learning happens by reading and then doing for themselves. When you provide written direction in the learning centers in addition to the resource books, you are developing their reading and language skills.

Provide journals, tablets, sticky notes and writing materials for their own creative writing endeavors. Add some fun colors of pens and pencils as well as stickers to enhance their pages, and you may find more children frequenting the writing area.

Other ways to improve literacy in the school age classroom include charting observations from the science and math areas and even some of the “seat work” types of games like word searches, crossword puzzles and mazes. And don't forget to look for "Mad Libs" that fit with your theme. These are fun activities to use with the whole group to create silly stories using random parts of speech.

Another fun addition is the magnet letters/words either on a vertical surface like a wall or refrigerator door, or horizontal surface like a cookie sheet.

Magazines and scissors are also useful items for early readers to cut out words and pictures. Include glue sticks and paper for them to create sentences with their cut out words.

Go to After School Programs from Literacy in the After School Program

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