Literacy Centers And Other Center Ideas

 literacy sun

A Close Look At My Centers

(note: centers subject to change according to age, grade, and theme.

Below you will see a variety of center ideas geared at the  pre-k level)

First Some Important Things To Remember About Literacy And Learning

·            Children learn that reading provides both enjoyment and information, and they develop a desire to learn to read and write.

·            Students also learn many new concepts and add words and meaning to their speaking vocabulary.

·            Children learn print concepts, including how to read from left to right, how to read a page from top to bottom, etc..

·            Children develop phonemic awareness, including the concept of rhyme.

·            Students learn to read and write some interesting-to-them words, such as “Pizza Hut,” “cat,” and “bear.”

·            Students learn some letter names and sounds usually connected to the interesting words they have learned, (p. 9).  

Many of the concepts above are details about the prior knowledge children may have or will learn as they become more aware of literacy and learning.

Below are descriptions of assorted centers I use at the Pre-k level. 

  • Discovery - including science, sand and water play
  • Large Motor Skills - muscle activity, movement, excercise
  • Art - cutting, pasting, color recognition, detailed art projects related to specific themes
  • Music - dance and movement
  • Socio-dramatic - make-believe and role-playing
  • Reading - listening/storytelling/learning parts of a book
  • Manipulatives - including small puzzles, stringing beeds,  and finger toys
  • Block building - development of fine motor skills
  • Science - including nature study
  • Math - counting, number recognition, number play

  •  More Learning In Preschool

    v     The classroom library – this literacy experience provides the students with the ability to self select their own reading material.  This is important because it is balanced in a way that allows children to make connections to their own interests while helping them understand how to read  and connect the print to the pictures in books.

    v     Reading the room – students go around the room with pointers and read letters/words within the room that they see.  They do this quietly to themselves.  The students work at their own level in this area.

    v     Shared reading – using big books and little books the teacher uses predictable books to help the students learn about books and print as well as parts of a book. 

    v     Morning message – each morning I write a message to the students that we read together as a group.  After we read the message as a large group we look for upper and lower case letters, and letter count.

    v     Journaling - students start this center out by drawing a picture starting with a specific letter.  After the students draw for about 3 or 4 minutes they are asked to practice printing the letter that corresponds with the picture they have made 

     Other Center Ideas

    ABC Centers – letter writing, letter tiles and manipulatives, letter bingo games, alphabet
    flip books, etc.; a great resource for ABC centers is the Beginning Sound Materials.

    Puppet Centers – stick puppets, retelling popular stories, etc.

    Poetry Centers – rhyming activities are essential to early literacy skills development; a great
    resource for pre-k. 

    Music Centers – like poetry and rhyming, pre-k students learn literacy through
    singing and music activities.

    Reading Centers – children’s books and stories are a fundamental building block in emerging literacy
    development as well as fostering children’s imaginative and creative abilities. Brainstorm reading time
    activities you can incorporate into your literacy centers, like quiet reading, or book look.

    Listening Centers – active listening is also an important part of early literacy. By implementing activities
    in your literacy centers that reinforce and test young learner’s listening and participative discussion skills, educators can build students’ attention and social interaction skills.

    Web Site Link To Help You With More Ideas For Literacy Centers - The Literacy Center Education Network is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to deliver free, professionally-designed, education material to preschool-age children. Utilizing the power of the Internet, this site distributes educational material directly to children in their homes, libraries, and schools.