Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Take-Home Literature Packets

What is one of the most influencial, beneficial, and special, yet simple, activities that a parent can facilitate with a child?


Allowing for a child to extend their curriculum into the home, and continuing the exposure to literacy is wonderful. Children crave interactions with literacy, and love spending this quality time with their parents. Teachers across the country would probably all say they want their parents to read more often with their children. Well, instead of making the suggestion, teachers can make it happen. A Literature Packet is a bag created by the teacher, or perhaps in collaboration with the children and parents. Inside this bag contains:
- 2 books
- A list of 7 related activities
- The materials to complete the activities
- A journal to write about the experience
A teacher can create as many bags as necessary/possible, but each should be unique and present a specific concept or subject. Some examples include: Counting and Numbers, Days, Family, I Can!, etc. Teachers can choose to integrate the current curriculum focuses into the packets, which can really hook the attention and interest of the children.
The creation of these literature bags can be a cooperative effort. Call for a meeting with the children and parents, and open a conversation about what types of subjects they want to receive in the bags. After a nice list has been made, offer the opportunity for parents to bring in (inexpensive) materials for the activities. When the bags are completed a rotation chart needs to be compiled, and the children can begin "checking out" the bags for a week.
During the week that a child has a bag, the parents should read the two books with their child, and complete at least two of the activities. In order for this project to allow for healthy communication between parents and teachers, a journal is provided. The journal can be used for parents to write about the experience, and especially for the children. Both the student and parent comments are useful for a teacher to gain insight into the literacy experience provided in the home. Teachers can even send the journals back for the next week with encouraging comments and remarks about the past journal entries. It can be used a communication tool from both ends!
Take-Home Literature Packets are a great way to bridge the gap between school-life and home-life. Children benefit from the literacy exposure and quality time. Teachers and parents begin to establish a closer relationship through the collaboration and journal entries. This type of home activity will allow for parents to know exactly what they can do to participate in the education of their child. Every parent wants the best for his/her child, and these literature packs provide the tools for them to achieve that.


  1. Take-Home Literature Packets are great tools for parents to use to encourage their child to explore literacy at home. Children can learn so much from materials in these take home packets. Teachers should create packets that are meaningful to their classroom's needs.

  2. I love your idea of involving families in the planning process for literacy packs. The beginning of the year meeting would be a great time to introduce these packs and tailor them to your class based on family responses.

  3. I absolutely agree with you that take-home literacy packets are a great ways to involve parents in their child's activity. As the parents participate in the activities, they will know what their child is learning in the school and what their child is interested in.