Family Literacy Night is a great opportunity for families to spend time together, interact with other families, and learn more about literacy opportunities for the home. For our second annual Family Literacy Night, families with children in grades pre-kindergarten through third grade were able to spend an hour participating in multiple literacy activities together. Since the theme was “Bedtime Stories,” children were invited to come dressed in their pajamas! Everyone had a great time and learnt more about literacy activities that can be used as great literacy tools for the home. 

Engineering with Stories (2nd – 3rd grade)
Items Needed:
Flight School by Lita Judge
– Mini-journal
– Penguin picture
– Coffee filter
– String (1 ft)
– Garbage Bag
– Tape (2 pieces)

2nd – 3rd grade students participated in an activity entitled Engineering with Stories.  They read the book Flight School by Lita Judge, a story about a penguin whose friends devise a plan to help him learn to fly after he fails to learn at school. After reading the story, 2nd and 3rd graders were given a mini-journal to develop their own plan to help the penguin fly. Students were also given a laminated picture of a penguin, one coffee filter, one foot of string, one strip of plastic from a garage bag and two pieces of tape to build a prototype of their design. Next, we tested the prototypes by dropping the penguins off the second floor of the lobby and timing the “flight” to the first floor. The mini journal also included an opportunity to reflect on the original designs and make improvements.

Recalling and Retelling (Pre-Kindergarten – 1st grade) 
Items Needed:
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
– Paper
– Tape and/or Glue
– Markers and/or crayons

Pre-K – 1st grade students participated in Recalling and Retelling. The children read the book The Napping House by Audrey Wood with their parents and then created the bed in the napping house. In the story, the grandmother, grandson, dog, cat and mouse all pile on to the bed to sleep in the napping house. After students read the story with their parents, they created the bed and each character from the story in 3D. The people and animals were then placed on top of the bed as the children retold the story with their families.

Families recalling and retelling The Napping House

Puppet Making (Pre-Kindergarten – 1st grade)
Items Needed:
Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus by Mo Willems
– Paper Bag
– Googly Eyes
– Tape and/or Glue
– String
– Recycled Items

Pre-K – 1st grade students participate in Puppet Making. The children read the book Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus with their families and then created a puppet of the pigeon. Each student received a paper bag, 2 googly eyes, and their choice of recycled materials to use to decorate the puppet. The children then used the pigeon puppet to retell the story.

A family reading Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus

Bookmark Creation (all ages)
Items Needed:
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Jane Yolen
– Cardstock
– Markers and Crayons

All students were given the opportunity to read one or all three of the following books with their parents: Madeline, Caps for Sale, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?  After reading the book(s), children then created and designed their own bookmarks based on the story. Children chose from a variety of colors and had the freedom to imagine and create the bookmark with their own design.

Storytelling (all ages)
Items Needed:
– Books
– Rocking Chair (if available) or chair
– Comfy items such as bean bags, pillows, blankets, etc.

Students listened to a live storyteller read Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward. Prior to reading the story, children were asked what a week is. The days of the week were then placed on a small chart stand by the storyteller. Then the children were introduced to the days of the week song which they sang together with the storyteller. After singing the song, children were introduced to the lead character of the story, Cookie the cat. The storyteller used a cat stuffed animal to show the character to the students. Cookie was taken out of her kennel, and the children were told that Cookie is a very curious cat and had to stay in the kennel if she wasn’t being held. The students discovered that Cookie is not a bad cat, but sometimes things happen when she is curious.

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