Literacy Learning Objectives and Teaching Strategies

Literacy refers to an individual's ability to read and write. Few skills are as relevant when it comes to your child's education. For information about literacy and ways that you can help your child at home, read on.

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Helping Your Child Become Literate

Why Literacy Matters

In your child's education career, literacy not only pertains to his or her success in English/Language arts, but most subjects because your child needs to be able to read and comprehend informational texts, as well as literature. As your child's education progresses, the texts he or she is expected to read in every subject will get more complex. The habits that your child forms at a young age will usually inform the rest of her or his education. For this reason, literacy needs to be a focus early on.

Reading Comprehension and Genres

One basic objective is for your child to understand and analyze texts. The more you read with and to your child, the more her or his comprehension skills are likely to improve. Before reading, take your child on what's known as a 'picture walk', which involves looking at and discussing the pictures in a book before reading it. The goal is to give your child an initial sense of what the narrative will be about.

While reading to your child, stop in appropriate places and make sure that he or she understands what's going on. Ask questions about tone, characters and events. Additionally, have him or her make predictions about the narrative.

It's important for your child to read different genres and distinguish between them. Over the course of your child's education, he or she will encounter novels, short stories, plays, poetry, essays, biographies, historical documents, math books and scientific texts, just to name a few. Understanding the difference between these texts will help your child identify what he or she is supposed to glean from them. For instance, he or she will likely look for facts from a historical document; however, character development may be the focus for a novel.

Fluency

Another objective for your child is to read fluently, which is how smoothly and mistake-free your child is able to read. To improve fluency, have your child read level-appropriate texts aloud. Record your child and play it back so that he or she can hear both the mistakes and improvement.

For younger children, sight words can help improve fluency because they're words that are recognized instantly, like 'is' or 'that'. Write sight words on flash cards and go through them with your child on a nightly basis. Eventually, your child will be able to easily recognize these words in context, which can improve reading speed and confidence.

Writing

Writing objectives depend on your child's age and level. Children begin by writing letters and then move on to words, sentences, paragraphs and full stories or essays. However, it all begins with simple line drawing. You can provide your child with worksheets that have diagonal, horizontal and vertical dotted lines for practice. Before beginning to write letters, your child can move on to tracing shapes, like circles, triangles and octagons.

When it comes time to write letters, sit down with your child and help him or her trace over dotted lines representing the alphabet. After enough practice, he or she will probably be ready to start writing freehand.

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