January 27, 2013 marks the 15th annual Family Literacy Day® in Canada. Created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999, Family Literacy Day encourages Canadian families to read and learn together.
As teachers, we know that the majority of a child’s day is spent learning at school. But it’s important that the learning is not only continued at home but also encouraged by parents or guardians through daily teachable moments. Sure, parents lead busy lives, but spending just 15 minutes a day engaged in a learning activity with children can provide huge benefits.
In honour of Family Literacy Day, ABC Life Literacy Canada offers teachers ideas on how they can celebrate with students and how parents can get involved too. Here are some ideas to help you get ready for Family Literacy Day:
1. A picture tells 1,000 words! Stories can be inspired by many different things, such as a painting or photo. Give each student a piece of artwork, and then have them take it home and write a story with their parents that centres around the illustration.
2. Book time: Organize a workshop for parents, offering tips and suggestions for reading and learning with their children, as well as activities to encourage learning in the home.
3. Organize an alphabetical scavenger hunt: Ask students to find as many objects as they can at home starting with the letter “A”. Or ask them to find one object beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Encourage parents to help them on their hunt!
4. Dear Diary: Ask students to create a family journal by interviewing family members and writing down favourite jokes and stories from siblings, parents or Grandma and Grandpa.
5. Read all about it! Hold a reading contest where families are asked to keep track of (or pile up) all the books they read together as a family for one week. The family that reads the most together wins!
Family Literacy Day, taking place across Canada on January 27, 2013, is the perfect opportunity to encourage learning at home. For more information, including tips and activity ideas for the classroom, visit www.FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Tilley is the Marketing Communications Specialist at ABC Life Literacy Canada, a national literacy organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills.
This article is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Nov/Dec 2012 issue.