Hi everyone! I've seen some great websites that feature Literacy Bags in which the teacher fills canvas bags with books/activities on a topic and children take turns sending them home.
I'd love to try them when I move to kindergarten next year, but I was wondering if anyone has ever filled them in a different way other than theme. I don't tend to teach in a very theme-oriented manner-- I'd like to use the literacy bags to help parents and kids explore different types of books. Has anyone ever done bags by genre or author? (I'm thinking maybe wordless picture books, ABC books, labeling books, fantasy fiction, realistic fiction, non-fiction, etc...).
How do you manage the bags so that everything comes back in one piece?
I, too, plan to incorporate the literacy bags into my classroom this year, so I will be new at this as well. However, one idea that I have seen teachers use and one that was also suggested on a website, is the use of an inventory list that is kept in the bags. If parents see that something is missing, they can note it on the inventory list. Also encourage your students to let you know if they misplace something so that you can replace it for the next student to use. Kindergarteners are usually pretty honest and if you encourage them to let you know, they will.
Trust me, when you begin to teach in K - you will teach in a very theme-oriented manner! Integrated learning is especially important for kindergarten. I like your idea of using the literacy bags based on genre and author. I think that you can make it work! I would start small - maybe make 4-5 bags this summer and see how it goes. If it goes well, make another batch over winter break.
Good luck next year and keep us posted on how it goes!
How do you think this would work for 2nd grade? I am moving from 3rd to 2nd and thought I might use this idea. I was thinking along the lines of Social Studies or Science content, but not just those areas. Let me know if anyone has any ideas.
I made bags to use last year and guess what I never used them. I don't know why. I plan to use them this year. I found stuffed animals and put one in each bag, then I found books that I already had that went along with the stuffed animal. Now, I plan to put a list of activities that the students may do with their families before returning the bag. I teach 2nd grade and I think the kids will love them. I plan to call them "Book Buddies".
I teach 2nd and have done take home bags for two years. I began with just a few bags but I'm hoping to make a bunch more this summer. My kids LOVE them!
Some bags I have done are:
1. Cat bag (literature) There are several books about cats, a stuffed cat, and a journal. The children read all or some of the books. In the journal they write which book was their favorite and why, then illustrate a scene from the book.
2. Numberbow (math) This is a fun game that we play in class to reinforce basic addition facts. The kids love taking this bag home and teaching their families how to play.
3. Math Rabbit (math) This is a super easy one for the teacher. I found a stuffed rabbit with numbers on its belly. It asks addition and subtraction facts and the child pushes the correct answer.
4. Eric Carle (author bag) There are several books by Carle and several activities that relate to the books.
I'm going blank right now...there are a couple more lit bags and a science one as well. I can't think what is in them at the moment though.
I send the bags home on Thursday and they are due back no later that Tuesday of the following week.
I use Science Literacy Bags in my second grade class. Each bag has a trade book (usually nonfiction), a literacy activity (like Making Words), and a science experiment. All three pieces go together around a topic, like Magnets. My kids LOVED it!
I sent home a permission slip ahead of time and parents had to sign that they 1) wanted to participate, 2) would return the materials on time, 3) would take good care of the bag. I only sent the bag to families that returned the permission slip. When I sent home the first round of bags, I got about five more permission slips from kids who had seen the bags and wanted one too.
I found this site once that had a lot of folder activities for books. They were created by a teacher and she offered them for purchase. I cannot find the URL of the site and I am wondering if anyone has come upon this site. One folder in particular that I remember is one for Warthogs in the Kitchen - there was an activity that used cupcakes as a number match game.....
I wanted to use some of the folders for my book bags.
I know this is vague, but I am desperately trying to find this site....
I once saw a teacher use the Alphabet to label her bags. The kids would sign a piece of paper each time they had a bag. They could only keep it at their house for one night, but if they chose to keep it, they would still sign that they had that bag. They would also sign a sheet at their desk. They had a calendar and on the date, they would write what bag they had, such as A, B and so forth. I don't know if the bag letter coordinated to a theme, but they kids seemed to really enjoy them.
I had to make a literacy bag when I was in school (which was only a couple of years ago) as part of an ESL/Literacy project. My project was a Finding Nemo funpack (which is what we called them). Within the FunPack, there was a folder that had several sleves inside it. In each sleeve were the following: a letter to the parents explaining the purpose of that particular funpack and how it will help their child, a list of activities, a list of everything that was in the funpack as well as a list of what to return in the funpack. Directions to a couple of games, the activities, and facts about sea animals. Inside the FunPack was a fiction book - Finding Nemo, and a non-ficiton book, The Essential Finding Nemo - a book that tells about the real creatures in the movie. There was also a journal for the parents to write about what they liked, what worked and what didn't so that we could change up the FunPack as needed. I had a science activity of sink/float, a crafty activity where they could create their own reef, an observational activity where they could see and feel a real starfish and a real sea horse, and a board game that I created that reinforced their literacy with pictures that matched with words. It was more of a 1st grade deal, but the field trials we had to do were very successful! Last year was my 1st year teaching so I didnt' have time to use it or create new ones (I was a little overwhelmed - it was a very hard year!) but I'm planning on it this year!! I have no idea if this helps, but I hope so! Sorry if it seems like I'm rambling, I dont' have the bag in front of me and I'm going off my memory!