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Family Literacy Nights

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Are you looking for ideas and activities for your family literacy night? Then you have come to the right place. This is a collections of ideas that will help you plan a successful night.

Family Literacy Nights
Posted by: Julie

I'll try to be as brief as possible about our Family Literacy Nights. Our K-4 teachers sign up to read a book and do an activity to go along with that book. We usually have 8-10 teachers sign-up. Each teacher makes a poster "advertising" their book. We hang these in the cafeteria so students can see them and be thinking about the two stories they want to sign up for that night. I make a sign-up sheet showing the title of the book and the teacher reading the book . The sheet has 10 spaces for parents to sign up their children to go to that teacher's room to hear the story and do the activity. We only allow a certain number to sign up for each story because we want the teacher to know how many to plan for when preparing for an activity to go along with the story. Some teachers order craft items from Oriental Trade; some do movement activities; some art projects; etc.

When students arrive that night (accompanied by a parent/guardian) they meet in the cafeteria to sign up for their two book sessions. When we dismiss them, they go to their first session then we all meet back in the cafeteria for snacks (made by our home ec. dept.). We have a variety of levels of books spread out on the tables and each student gets to choose a free book. (We order 100 books for $100 from Scholastic.) After this 20-30 min. break, we dismiss the students to go to their second session. When the students finish with their second story/activity, they go home!

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Family Literacy Night
Posted by: AmberM

We have Family Literacy night at my school. The PTO buys through Scholastic the 100 books for $100. Then we play sight word BINGO and the winner of each round gets to pick a book to take home as their prize.

Each class chooses their favorite read aloud short story. The children with simple costumes act out the story while it is being read by the teacher or a student. My class did SWIMMY by Leo Lionne the black fish wore black t-shirts and Swimmy wore red.
Also did Caps For Sale one year and the kids had a great time being the Monkeys!

We do a Book Walk exactly like a Cake Walk except words on the floor not numbers and the prizes are books. (Also from the box of Scolastic 100)

Computer Lab is set up with all reading/language art software that night.

One area is like Wheel of Fortune where there are word puzzles to figure out families compete to complete the phrases first.

This is a few, after the story plays the rest of the activities are done "carnival" style so the families just float from activity to activity the rest of the evening. It's fun hope you enjoy yours!

Newsletter/Literacy Night
Posted by: MsPropel

We get a Coach's Chatter (used to be Coach's Corner) that is from both the literacy and math coaches. It is never more than the front of one page. They each do a blurb and then they do a "brag" section. They talk about great things they are seeing in classrooms. We are a K-8 school so we don't often get to see great things that other teacher's are doing in other grade levels. They will also do things like say "email Ms. Coach with the word pumpkin in the subject line for a treat". Then they'll have a small piece of Halloween candy or something for anyone who emails.

I have two literacy night ideas. In my first school our mascot was the bear so we had a Book, Bear, and Blanket night. The students came to the school in the evening in their pajamas with a book, a bear, and a blanket. Everyone came into the multi-purpose room and started by sharing their book with the adult they came with (about 20 minutes). Then the adults stayed in the multipurpose room with the reading specialist and she talked to them about reading, our programs, etc. The kids were split up into groups. In the first group they heard a story read by a teacher (another 20 minutes), then they switched to a second group where they got refreshments and watched a video of a book (another 20 minutes). It worked out pretty well.

The one we did last year was each grade level chose an author. The teacher for that grade level read a story from that author and had the kids do an activity. I did David Shannon. I read How I Became a Pirate. As the kids came in I took their picture and printed it out on writing paper. When the story was over, they worked with their families to use makers to make themselves look like a pirate and write about how they became a pirate. Then they got a book from their author. I gave the kids A Bad Case of the Stripes. We all went to the cafeteria at the end for refreshments and the principal read a story to everyone. This one was great and the families LOVED it!

Hope this helps!!

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K-2 literacy night
Posted by: judy

This year we had a very successful literacy night at our school and it was really simple. We had a meeting in the auditorium of all the parents while the teacher did an interactive read aloud to the children. The parents then went to their classrooms. The teachers explained using mentor text in their reading and writing workshops. The teachers then read a mentor text which explicitly showed the font strategies that we want the children to pattern in their writing...such as speech bubbles, thought bubbles, text wrapping, bold print, sound words...etc......teachers pointed out these techniques during their reading. Various books that highlight the strategies you want to show were placed on the tables. The parent and child went on a scavenger hunt to find the various techniques. We had a little tea afterward in each classroom. I teach K and I thought it went so well in my room and there was not a lot of preparation for it.

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Family Literacy Night
Posted by: n2n2n2n

We are having a Books and Blankets Family Literacy Night tomorrow. I am not doing door prizes this time. Each family will receive a family literacy folder with reading strategies, log, book mark and tattoos (for some reason I have about 1000 sheets of tattoos and I figure this is a good way to get rid of them ;)). Last year I made writing kits for each family. The families in our school have for the most part lots of books at home so we are not giving each family a book, although we have done this in the past.

Last year we did have a draw with door prizes. We had books and gift certificates to use at our Book Fair. We gathered the whole group together at the end for the thanks and good nights and then had the draws for the door prizes.

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Family Night
Posted by: buster

Our school has a "literacy luau." One of our wonderfully "dramatic" teachers performs the story, Where the Wild Things Are, in the gym with a spotlight shining on her. We also served nachos, cookies, and a drink. Each teacher had a powerpoint or center games set up in their classroom to show the parents what skills we are working on in literacy and how they can help at home.

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Family Reading Night
Posted by: Carrie in WV

I am organizing a Reading Night on November 18, in conjunction with National Children's Book Week. I am also a professional storyteller, so we are starting out our evening with me telling Appalachian stories (our principal is joining me, which should be hilarious) and then after refreshments, we are going to have stations. We have each class preparing a book gift basket with various themes (spa, cooking, gifts in a jar, etc.) and those will be a part of the silent auction. Each class will keep proceeds to buy books for their classroom library. We are going to have a "make and take" bookmark station, a book exchange, a contest (guessing teacher's baby pictures "Look Who Grew Up loving Books"), a perpetual story station where you can come and help write a story (decorated like a big fairytale storybook)...Hope this helps you with ideas. I am new to the school and they have never done anything like this before. I hope everyone gets a vision of the evening---it could be really awesome.

family literacy
Posted by: Marisa

My school does a family read aloud night about once a month. The students come to school at night with their parents. The students are split up according to grade level. The teacher read a book to the group and do an activity or craft. the parents are there to help with the craft. The parents then have time to read aloud to their child. The school provides refreshments and free books by raffle during the evening.

Literature Night
Posted by: 1956BD

How about using poetry for your literature night instead of books? There are tons of poems online that you could make copies of and use. Would that work with the strategies you have in mind?

I also would try using one of Mary Ann Hoberman's books. She has several versions called You Read To Me, I'll Read To You. One is poems and it is my favorite. But there is a fairy tale version, scary story version, and funny Mother Goose version as well. My students always love reading these. They are designed for two voices, so it would be perfect for a child and parent reading. They are short, so you could make transparencies for all to read from the overhead.

If your Literature Night is in October I suggest using some of Jack Prelutsky's poems from It's Halloween. These are great fun to read aloud and the motivation is high because kids love this holiday. My class uses them for dramatic group choral readings, after several days of practice. We just read them to our kindergarten buddies, but your students could do a couple for their parents. I always allow my students to include simple props to increase the fun factor of their reading.

You could introduce them to
so they could listen to a story together read by a famous actor or even Al Gore. There are activities for each selection.

Do an author study. Collect several books by the same author from your library. Have enough for everyone in your class. Teach some strategy to use and let them start reading while you walk around and help. I suggest Patricia Palacco because she has written so many books and she has a great website. She has a postcard, book mark, illustration to color, and questions for every story.

Hope some of this is helpful and good luck with your literature night.

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Family Literacy
Posted by: MJH

Our school uses the program Partners In Print. The program calls for parents and kids to attend each of the four meetings. The committee decides what lessons to use and the teachers scheduled that night have to conduct the mini-workshops. The lessons are on how to set up a homework space at home, How to read to young children, how to engage young children in reading (asking question, describing pictures, prediciting). The mini-workshops last about 20 - 30 mins. We conduct three different workshops each night and have a rotating schedule. The program is for K-2.

We also include some of our own Family Literacy activities at other times. Next month we are hosting a Pajama Party. Kids and teachers will come to school that night wearing their pajamas and stories will be read to them. We enourage parents to participate in the book clubs. Most of the time Scholastics have good books for .50 to $1.00, most parents are willing to participate because the prices are very reasonable.

Hope this is of some help.

Posted by: tia

how timely! i was just looking over this morning's family reading night committee meeting agenda!

we are having a family reading night with the theme Love-a-Book the day before val day. we are doing the following:

we had funds to buy a book for every student in the school (about 400) (we did buy a lot of books during our school's scholastic book fair, so saved like 25%.) so every student who comes will get a book.

we'll have teachers giving talks for parents of primary and intermediate students--how to read with your child, improve your child's reading...

a room with spansih/english books and someone reading books in spanish. (we recently acquired an ELL program mainly comprised of spanish speakers.)

a room with fractured fairy tales and papers with fairy tales started so kids can finish writing them. (this incorporates our writing goal with reading.)

rooms with students reading their published writing.

all classrooms will have class and individually-made books on display

cookies and milk in the gym, along with applications for 2 local public libraries

some adults reading books aloud

station where kids can make their own bookmarks--leave them, and we'll laminate them and get them to the kids the following week.

we'll also have pamphlets on our state's "dinner and a book" and other reading ideas available.

i think that's everything--hope it helps! email me if you have any questions.

Reading Night
Posted by: ck

In a school I was at, each room that participated (not all teachers did)choose a theme. All of the books in their room related to that theme. Teachers lent other teachers books and books were cheked out of the library, etc. so that each room had plenty of books. Each room was then decorated to fit with the theme (this can be extravagant or simple). Food was provided in each room that also matched the theme.
My room was "bears", so we had a lot of books that involved bears (the Berenstein Bears, Cordoroy, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, etc.) I decorated the room with stuffed bears from home. My classroom theme that week was also bears, so we had a lot of kid's art work, etc. up. For snack we had Teddy Grahams and Gummy Bears.
Families came & went from room to room as they wished. A list of the themed rooms, and a school map, were provided to each family as they came in. It was a big hit!

door prizes
Posted by: Valerie

To boost attendance at our Family Literacy Night each teacher was asked to make a themed basket as a door prize. One teacher did a movie basket with a movie on DVD, popcorn, and some of the 97 cent boxes of candy snacks from Wal-Mart. Another teacher did a reading basket and had a wide range of new books in a basket. Two teachers went together and made a Family Game Basket with several popular (but inexpensive) games in it. One teacher did a Puzzle basket with several puzzles ranging from 24 piece to 100 piece, to a 3 D puzzle. Families signed in and then at the end we did the drawings for about 15 baskets. You had to be present to win so almost everyone stayed for the last thing. Attendance was boosted because we had the baskets on display during lunch and kids were excited about the prospect of winning.

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Dr. Seuss Night
Posted by: MissJ

We have done Family Reading Nights at my school for the last few years. The most successful is Dr. Seuss Night, which we try to do around Dr. Seuss's birthday. We invite families to come in their pajamas. We start in the cafeteria and have then split the families into three or four groups. Each group goes to an assigned classroom or the library or cafeteria. There, one teacher reads a Dr.Seuss book and does an activity that corrosoponds with the book. In the cafeteria, they read Green Eggs and Ham and then make green eggs and ham. (We get the food donated from 1 or 2 local supermarkets.) In the library, we have them surf the Dr. Seuss website, which is very cool and kid friendly. In another classroom, they read The Cat and the Hat and make Dr. Seuss hats. You can also read Bartholomew and the Oobleck and make oobleck (cornstarch and water). The Dr.Seuss website has many more great ideas and resources. At the end of the night, we have families come back to the cafeteria and we have handouts for parents about strategies for reading with their children at home. Each child gets to pick one book, which the Home and School Club buys from Scholastic. We also do a drawing and give away several gift certificates for Barnes and Noble (or some other local gift shop).

Family Literacy Night
Posted by: Grade4Teach

We have a family literacy night each year. Teachers sign up to read a book or a portion of a book if it is a chapter book. We then plan a short activity to go along with the book.

The night starts in the gymnasium, we have the students sign in, get their name tags and they can bring books for the book swap. We count their books and give them a ticket to pick up the same number of books at the end of the night. We also tell them what group they are in.

Then, there is a brief presentation by a guest author. After the author, the students go to their breakout sessions with the teachers. That lasts for about 25 minutes and then they go back to the gym for the book swap and the PTA usually has snacks and refreshments in the cafeteria for them. It is a great night.

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Promoting Reading at Home
Posted by: iteach4th

Our Family Literacy Night is really just an evening for parents to come to learn some ideas on how to promote reading at home. Many parents know their kids should read more but aren't quite sure how to make it happen. We are going to provide them with some ideas on how to make reading a GOOD thing at home rather than just another chore to do. We'll talk about some comprehension strategies and questions to ask while they read WITH their kids at home.

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