“Incorporating literacy into every center is not only possible for you, but enjoyable and beneficial for the children that you teach. Together these centers create a literacy-rich classroom.”
Lesley M. Morrow, 2002
Integrating literacy across the curriculum is an easy way to ensure that students obtain the foundational skills needed to become readers and writers, as well as the content skills and vocabulary of math, science, and other content areas that help them grow as learners. Print is everywhere and utilized by everyone; in order to take advantage of fostering literacy in young children, we must take the literacy to them by incorporating reading and writing into all areas of the classroom.
By taking dictation from a child after he or she has completed a piece of art work, we are showing children that we value what they have to say, we value their contributions to the classroom, and that language and literacy are honored and recognized by all. As a teacher, you need to be intentional about providing both modeled and shared writing on a daily basis in a variety of settings. Without teacher modeling, it takes a long time to get children to write independently for meaningful purposes – items such as making the grocery list, taking an order, writing a check, filling out a job application, and so forth. Children are naturally inquisitive and when we provide interesting materials and activities that allow them to practice the skills we have taught, we allow them to move that learning to long term memory. By placing books and writing materials in all centers and scaffolding and modeling how to use those resources to enhance the topic or center theme, we allow children to interact with literacy and become readers and writers.