Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rainbow Literacy Backpack

Literacy backpacks have found their way into lower elementary classrooms as a way to increase the knowledge of a single topic.  The backpack idea appeals to kids who think it’s “cool” to take home a special backpack and bring it back to school in a few days.  Teachers like that their students are learning some extracurricular topics outside the realm of Common Core Content Standards and PARCC testing restrictions.  And parents like that their children are gainfully employed while they explore the contents of the backpack.

Each backpack contains 3-5 books that relate to a single topic with a laminated list of suggested activities on one side and a bring-back checklist on the other side.  The activities relate directly to each book.  The checklist makes sure none of the books or accompanying materials gets left home for the next backpack borrower.  
To support this effort, Entelechy Education, LLC offers the following Literacy Backpack lessons to go with their hardcover book, Where’sGreen? which presents the concepts of rainbows, cooperation within a group, and alliteration.  Each of our books always combines a STEM topic with a character education lesson, and a language literacy component.  

Here are some suggested activities that might go with including Where’s Green? in your literacy backpack on the rainbow theme:
  • Create a pop-up rainbow card to give to a senior citizen or sick relative.
  • Find all the alliteration in Where’s Green?
  • Make a list of all the things Green might have done when he left the rainbow.
If you add an inexpensive prism to the backpack, include it on the list of items to return and then add some activities to go with that prism:
  • Hold the prism in front of a window on a sunny day and watch the rainbows dance around the room
  • Hold the prism in front of a window on a cloudy day and notice the difference.
Have fun adding both fiction and nonfiction books to your literacy backpacks!