Below are some
guidelines to remember when creating a literate
classroom environment. I have also included
pictures of what a literate classroom looks like.
Because I am a Title I teacher, I
work with children in grades K-2 as well as children
in grades 4-5. I do not have my own class.
Therefore, the following pictures of a literate
classroom have been taken from my aunt, Mrs. Marsha
Burke’s preschool classroom at Rainelle Elementary
School in Greenbrier County,
Creating a Literate
emergent literacy by creating a literate classroom
environment is an important undertaking by all early
and primary educators. Regardless of where children
are in their grappling of literacy, one thing that
all teachers can do to further their development is
to generate an environment that promotes active
reading, writing, listening, and speaking (Gunning,
2005). We want children to engage in literacy
rich activities. Many children come to school and
have never been exposed to writing utensils!
Gunning shares the following guidelines in creating
a literacy rich environment, have writing
instruments, various types of paper, books, and
magazines readily available and free for the
children to browse and utilize. A student-run post
office is an excellent way to encourage writing
among students. Bulletin boards should incorporate
pictures as well as words. A calendar with upcoming
events as well as student birthdays is posted in the
classroom. Aquariums are labeled with the proper
name of the creature inside. Schedule and helper
charts should also be posted. Names of students
should be posted around the room six different
places. Various items in the room should be labeled
with the word and picture. Some of these items
include children’s cubbies, the coat closet – where
they hang their coat and backpack, school supplies,
calendar, play items, etc. Students’ stories and
books are on display. Books should be easily
accessible and time should be given to browse and
share books. A book corner is ideal for this where
children can make themselves comfortable and cuddle
up with a good book.
rich environment also allow students to interact
social with one another. Just as some children come
to school have never held a pencil, some come to
school with little socialization skills. A dramatic
play center allows for children to interact while
experimenting with writing and other literate
behaviors. Gunning defines dramatic play as a type
of activity in which students play at being someone
else: a doctor, a teacher, a firefighter. Children
are given the opportunity to play with writing in
the following activities at the dramatic play center
– grocery store, bank, doctor’s office, restaurant,
and post office.
center allows children to listen to stories while
they follow along with the book. This is an
excellent way for the students to hear reading
modeled properly. It also exposes children to the
book experience. While following along with the
book the children are practicing concepts of print
by turning pages and tracking print. A computer
center can also be used for listening to stories as
well as other learning activities.
Gunning, T. J. (2005).
Creating literacy: Instruction for all students.
Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.