Literacy development

Reading: Let the story unfold

The best reading experiences at school can stay with children, and be treasured, for a very long time. Sally Player describes how she delivers rich literacy opportunities for her Reception class every day.

Literacy: Embrace the planet

Activities linked to the natural environment and its wildlife will encourage children to source information from reference books, record facts in writing and use different formats such as captions, labels and speech bubbles.

Find the right words

With proposed changes to the EYFS profile placing greater emphasis on progress in reading, Sally Player looks at how high quality reading experiences can be delivered in Reception classes.

Literacy: Wake up to spring

The Very Hungry Hedgehog is a spring story with a message about sharing. Claire Hewson suggests ways to use the experiences it describes to extend children's vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Literacy: ‘My family story’

Jenni Clarke kicks off a series exploring ‘in the moment planning’, outlining how this approach to children's learning can be harnessed effectively. Here she provides scenarios for using picture books as a key resource to support a ‘my family’ theme.

Literacy: Time for giving

Use the classic picture book The Smartest Giant in Town to help children reflect upon the joy of receiving and giving a gift. Explore ideas for giving, including a bake sale, to raise funds for a charity.

Literacy: A rhyme hunt

Judith Harries discusses how children can use the word play, onomatopoeia and rhyme found in Michael Rosen's much-loved children's books to develop their speaking skills and cooperative play.

Tuff decisions

Ailsa Chapman re-visits that stalwart of early years resourcing – the tuff tray, and suggests ways to extend its scope, with a range of imaginative ideas that children can take in any direction.

Literacy: Saving every drop

Try these literacy-based activities and combine the development of children's reading and information gathering skills with learning about water conservation. Helping them to discover the importance of water is a good starting point.

Literacy: Reading and relaxing

Judith Harries provides ideas for practitioners and parents to keep children reading and developing their literacy skills during the long summer holiday. This can be built on when they return to the setting.

Literacy: Roll up with Coralie

Develop children's literacy skills by engaging them with the book Cannonball Coralie and the Lion. Its story and literary devices explore ideas to do with friendship and having the courage to be yourself.

Glorious mud!

Winter is nearly over and if you’ve recently done an audit of your outdoor space, you might now be thinking about giving your mud kitchen a revamp, and introducing some new resources. If you haven’t yet set up a mud kitchen, now is definitely the time to start planning one.

Literacy: Trains of thought

John Burningham’s books are immediately captivating, taking children on magical journeys which carry powerful messages. Support them to use their phonic knowledge to decode words.

Literacy: Mum's special day

Celebrating Mother’s Day is a great way to encourage children to talk about their mums and exercise their literacy skills as they make cards and learn to write simple, loving messsages.

Literacy: Letters home

Have fun reading all the letters in The Jolly Postman and encourage children to compose their own letters, supporting them to create simple sentences and even a Valentine’s Day message.

Parent: Be my Valentine

Many settings love to celebrate Valentine’s Day – not only does it brighten up what can be a bleak month but it’s an opportunity to talk about love and kindness with children, says Annette Rawstrone.

Literacy: Sharing and caring

Chances are your book corner already has at least one title by author and illustrator Anthony Browne. Try these activities to engage children with his themes of family and friendship, and have fun exploring their surreal sense of humour!

Literacy: The power to dream

How to use simple resources such as fabrics, hats and a basket of natural objects to encourage children to experiment and use their imaginations to create characters and dialogue.

Wrap up!

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

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