The Literacy-Rich Classroom

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In a literacy-rich classroom (or home), children are surrounded by opportunities to see and interact with print. Although a print-rich environment takes many forms, it should all be interactive and meaningful to the students. Check out these great tips and thoughts on creating a literacy-rich classroom or home!

*Pair with our Fluency Passages for Early Readers BUNDLE Pack!

Check out these great tips and thoughts on having a literacy-rich classroom or home!

The Literacy-Rich Classroom

Providing an environment with ample and meaningful engagement with print in early childhood years is important. It helps students begin to understand how oral and written language works.

Literacy-Rich Definition

Literacy-rich and print-rich are often used interchangeably. They are both an environment that supports all four domains of language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This support is provided via a large variety of printed and digital material. It also includes the use of literacy manipulatives.

Literacy-rich environments are the most successful when teaching and learning are done in the most authentic ways. That means that literacy skills are not taught in isolation, but rather integrated into every opportunity possible.

Goals of a Literacy-Rich Classroom

Of course, the overarching goal of a print-rich classroom is to give children the foundation they need to become successful readers and writers. But more specifically, the underlying goals are:

Creating a print-rich environment encourages reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Examples of a Print-Rich Environment in Action

  • Several children sit together on a rug to listen as their teacher reads a picture book to them. As the teacher reads, she stops to point out how the pictures in the book support the story she is reading.
  • In the library of the classroom, two children sit together to recite the words of a familiar book with repetitive text. Another child looks at the pictures of a less familiar book and “reads” them. She is making up what she thinks the story must be.
  • In another part of the classroom, a child points to pictures on the class helper chart and reads his friends’ names as well as his own.
  • A little girl sits in the writing area and draws a picture of her family. Then she uses what looks like chicken scratches to “write” her siblings’ names.
  • At the literacy center, two children work together to find letter manipulatives to spell out common words on cards, such as “cat”, “dog”, and “Mom”.
  • In the dramatic play area some children play restaurant together. One child decides what to order using a menu with pictures and labels. Another takes orders making checkmarks next to the said pictures and labels. The third child works the cash register, reading the prices of each item ordered.

By demonstrating to students the function and utility of language in an intentional, purposeful, and meaningful way, a literacy-rich classroom serves as a means to build the basic skills necessary for literacy development.

While many children are immediately exposed to literacy concepts within minutes of birth, some students may not have equivalent access or exposure. This makes print-rich environments even more important. Some children rely solely on the enriching literacy experiences they have in daycare, preschool, or elementary school.

***As we continue to learn about the Science of Reading, we want to be up-to-date so that our articles are research-based. This post has recently been updated to be Science of Reading aligned.***

Guest post by Sarah from Stay at Home Educator

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