Liven Up Literacy -


Develop language and vocabulary with an empty coffee can or chip canister. Place a small toy, unique object, picture, etc. in the can each day. Sing this song to the tune of “Flies in the Buttermilk.”

Children, children what do you see?
Children, children what do you see?
Children, children, what do you see?
Can you tell me more?
More words!

Get excited as children contribute more and more adjectives to describe the object. You might also write the words on the board so children can use them in their own writing.

Highway Letters

Click for larger image


I’m sure many of you have sung my “Alphardy” song. (I’ll put the words below just in case you are not familiar with them.) Your children can make their own adaptation of this song with a digital camera. Let each child choose a different letter and act out the motion. Take a photo of them as they do so. Put their pictures together to make a class book where you can read and sing along!

(Tune: “Jeopardy” Theme Song)

A for apple a-a-a.
B for bounce b-b-b.
C for cut c-c-c.
D for dig d-d-d.
E – elbow
F – fan
G – gallop
H – hop
I – itch
J – jump
K – kick
L – love
M – munch
N – not
O – opera
Q – quiet
R – run
S – sew
T – talk
U – upside
V – volley
W – wiggle
X – x-ray
Y – yawn
Z – zigzag

Letter sounds are all you need.
Put them together and you can read!


Give children a photocopy of a cell phone. Call out numbers and let the children figure out what the spelling word could be ???.


This precious idea came from Kathe Sempler in Elmira, NY. First she let her students make poetry hats. She gave them an 18” square of fabric on which they traced a circle. Next, the children hole punched the edges and sewed with yarn. They adjusted the yarn to fit the children’s heads, and voila! A perfect beret! The children wore their poetry hats when they read, shared, recited, or wrote poems and rhymes


Tim Rascinski (a brilliant educator) emphasizes the benefit of having children sing and follow along with the lyrics. We also know that children benefit from repeated experiences. When using books and music for children to follow along in your listening center, record the music 3 times. Pause in between each recording so children can turn back to the front of the book and get ready for the next repetition.

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