Literacy Centres Ideas

Suggested Grades


  • Listen to the Directions
    • Primary Skill: listening
      Listen to directions on a tape and do what it tells you. Eg: draw a pink circle, write the name of your favourite animal…
  • Listen to a Story and Draw
    • Primary Skill: listening
      Listen to a story and draw pictures that go along with it.
  • Listen and Recall
    • Primary Skill: listening
      Listen and recall a sequences of letters, numbers, or words.
  • Listen to Yourself
    • Primary Skills: reading, listening
      Provide blank tapes and a tape recorder for students to tape themselves reading a book or some poems. Then have themselves listen to their reading. (you can even keep a tape for each student as a record of their reading progress for evaluation)
  • Listen and Read
    • Primary Skills: reading, listening
      Listen to stories on tape and read along with print versions of the story. You can make tapes of the stories with your own voice and/or encourage parents and other relatives to make some to bring in the classroom
  • What Will the Ending Be?
    • Primary Skills: writing, listening
      Listen to the beginning of a story, poem, or song and finish the story by drawing pictures and/or writing it out.
  • The Books I Have Read Journal
    • Primary Skills: reading, writing
      Read a book and draw and/or write out what you thought of it. .
  • Personal Journal
    • Primary Skill: writing
      Write about whatever you want.
  • Fill In the Missing Letters and/or Words
    • Primary Skills: writing
      Write out a poem or a message on the board or on photocopied paper, leave out some parts, and allow the students to fill in the missing sections.
  • Word Family Post-It
    • Primary Skills: reading, writing
      On a card write out a word from a word family that you are studying and stick it on a wall or a black board. Have children write out a word that belongs to the same family on a post-it note and then stick it underneath. Encourage children to keep sticking notes until they have posted all the words in the family that they know and they have formed a long column of words. You can also have them transfer these words into a book format (with the post-it notes stuck together) to hand them in at the end.
  • Stamp Stories
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing
      Write out a story and illustrate it using ink stamps.
  • Make a Silly Sentence
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing
      Pick words out of a bag and put them together to make a silly sentences. Copy the sentence out and accompany it with an illustration.
  • Painting Sentence
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing
      Paint a scene and then write out a sentence to go with the scene on the bottom of the paper.
  • Computer Publishing
    • Primary Skills: writing, typing
      Write out a story on the computer.
  • Put the Pages of the Book in Order
    • Primary Skill: reading
      Have photocopies of pictures of a simple story and ask students to look at the pictures to put the pages of the book in order so that it makes sense and tells a logical story.
  • Poetry Put Together
    • Primary Skill: reading
      Glue a poem on the front of a manilla envelope. On the inside of the manilla envelope, place the words to the poem printed on small individual pieces of poster board. Students are to put the poem together, word-by-word. When finished the individual ask students to read the poem to a friend or the teacher, then place words back into the envelope.
  • Alphabet Book
    • Primary Skills: reading, writing
      Make a book of the letters of the alphabet and draw an illustration for each letter. Or cut out pictures from magazines to illustrate it.
  • Word Searches
    • Primary Skills: reading, writing
      Laminate word search puzzles and have students solve them with eraseable markers
  • Story Telling
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing, reading, speaking
      Write out a story with illustrations and share it with the class.
  • Flannel Board
    • Primary Skills: reading
      Organize a story on a flannel board using flannel characters.
  • Big Books
    • Primary Skill: reading
      Have a wide selection of big books for students to read with a partner or on their own.
  • Read Alone
    • Primary Skills reading
      Choose books from the class library and read quietly and alone. Record the books that you read in your reading log.
  • Chalkboard Writing
    • Primary Skill: writing
      Practice the alphabet or writing stories on chalkboards.
  • Printing Practice
    • Primary Skill: writing
      Laminate sheets with large letters of the alphabet and have children trace the letters with eraseable markers.
  • Tongue Twisters
    • Primary Skills: reading, speaking
      Have photocopies of a variety of tongue twisters and have students practice reading them. Share the twister with other students or the teacher.
  • Author/Theme Book Box
    • Primary Skills: reading
      Collect books by the same author and/or themes.
  • Character Matching
    • Primary Skill: reading, memory, listening
      In one zip-loc baggie have pictures of the characters in books that you have been reading to the class. In another zip-loc baggie have the names of these characters written out on seperate cards. Students have to match the characters’ pictures with their names.
  • Computer Games
    • Primary Skills: depends on the program, computer
      Play language arts games on the computer.
  • Writing Around the Room
    • Primary Skills: writing, reading
      Copy down as many words that are displayed around the room as you can. Or in partners, one partner points to a word and the other partner writes it down and vice versa.
  • Fishing for Words
    • Primary Skill: writing
      On 3″x5″ cards print the students spelling words, fold in half, and fasten search with a paper clip. Place the cards in a large fish bowl. Using a toy fishing pole or a long stick, place a magnet on the string. The students go fishing for a spelling word to practice. When the “catch” a word, they take it off their line and write it out on a piece of paper.
  • Scrambled Words
    • Primary Skill: reading
      Cut up the letters of a word, display them in a pocket chart, and have students scramble the letters to try to figure out the word and /or see how many other words can be created.
  • Egg Spellers
    • Primary Skill: writing
      Write the spelling words on small pieces of paper and place them inside plastic eggs. Students pick the eggs from a basket. The students then must write that word on a piece of paper.
  • Post Office
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing
      Provide a collection of stationary (envelopes of different sizes, different types of paper, and don’t forget the stamps!) for the students to write on. Set up a pocket system for them to send letters to members of the class.
  • Book Making
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing
      Make a book
    • about anything. Have things like staplers, crayons, paper, stamps, glue, etc. handy.
  • Magazine Dictionary
    • Primary Skills: writing, drawing
      Every week, choose a new letter and have students find as many pictures in magazines that start with the letter. Glue all these pictures on one page, title the page with the letter of the week, and write out the words under each picture. Eventully staple all the pages together to make a magazine dictionary.
  • Order the Alphabet
    • Primary Skill: reading
      Students put mixed up letters of the alphabet in order.
  • Puppet Play
    • Primary Skills: writing, speaking
      In a group, write out a play to perform with puppets and present it to the class.
  • Magnetic Letters
    • Primary Skill: writing
      Practice spelling words on the blackboard using magnetic letters.
  • Rainbow Spelling
    • Primary Skill: writing
      Write out spelling words in colored pencil or markers.
  • Kids’ Name Matching Game
    • Primary Skill: reading
      Place a photo of each child in your class on its zip-loc baggie. Then inside the baggie include a strip with that child’s name and the individual letters that make up that child’s name. A student unzips the bag, takes out the name strip, puts it on the baggie above the child’s picture, then “spells” the name with the individual letters below the picture. Encourage the kids to work in their own large area and do one name at a time so that the seperate letters stay in the right baggies.

Also look at Alphabet Art , a few fun mediums you can use to help your students form letters of the alphabet.