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Game Night for Family Literacy

Family Literacy Game Night

Candy Land Game Night!  This was the theme of our recent Family Literacy Night.  I think Game Night has been one of my favorite themes that we have done!  The Candy Land colors were great for spring time and our families had a lot of fun.

Family Literacy Game Night

There was a lot of prepping to do before that night.  We like to give away a book to every student who comes to our Family Nights.  Scholastic was having their $1 sale so I ordered a lot of books at that time to save some money.  Love when new books come in!

Family Literacy Game Night

We get bags and fill them with goodies for the students.  This year we put in a book, 1 colorful pencil, a piece of candy, and a game of course to go along with our theme!  One of the game stations was dominoes (for math) and one was Boggle (for literacy).  I found these cute little packs of miniature dominoes and Boggle games at Oriental Trading that went right along with our game stations. We also ordered paddle balls.  As families walked into the gym, they signed in and received their bags of goodies!  Families are going to have so much fun with these games at home that they also played with at school!

Family Literacy Game Night

This was our entrance to our Candy Land Game Night.  So festive and spring looking!

Family Literacy Game Night

We also have a table to display the items we are giving away to parents and students.  We purchase books from the Scholastic Book Fair to giveaway.  Our superintendent also purchased some Kindle Fires, a couple of drones and a couple of scooters.  This is a popular table!

Family Literacy Game Night

We tried to have a mix of games for both younger and older students.  Tables or stations were set up in different areas with plenty of chairs around them to accommodate the players.  

Family Literacy Game Night

Besides Candy Land and Hedbanz, we had Uno, Boggle, a Minute to Win It game, dominoes, number Bingo, and games on the iPads too.  There was so much laughing and playing going on that night!  I enjoyed seeing the families come and just enjoy being with each other!

Scavenger Hunts are another fun thing to do on a Family Literacy Night!  Families can come and go and complete the Hunt as they wish.  

Family Literacy Night Scavenger Hunt

This Scavenger Hunt has a reading quote and students find letters hidden around the school to complete the quote.

Family Literacy Night Scavenger Hunt

This fun, pirate themed scavenger hunt has a pirate quote for students to solve after finding all the missing letters.

Family Literacy Night Scavenger Hunt

Students love to find the hidden letters while they solve the mystery quote!

Family Literacy Game Night Scavenger Hunt

The Pirate Scavenger Hunt also includes a banner!  You can click here and here to see the hunts or you can click the pictures.  





Book Tasting

How to set up a Book Tasting Party

Have you been to or hosted a book tasting party?  They are a lot of fun and a great way to build up enthusiasm and engagement with all kinds of different books!

How to set up a Book Tasting Party

My second graders were starting informational books, so I used non-fiction books for this Book Tasting party.  But you can use all different genres of books.  Most do use a variety of books after having introduced the different genres with students.

How to set up a Book Tasting Party

Set the Scene!
Change up your room and decorate!  Not only were my second grade students excited when they peeked in my door that day, all the other students wanted to know what was going on in there!  It didn't cost much to do it.  
  • Plastic tablecloths that can be used again. 
  • Placemats to designate spots for students to "taste" the books
  • Flowers and flameless candles to set the atmosphere
  • Snacks to munch as the students look through books


How to set up a Book Tasting Party

At each placemat, I set a different informational book.  I used books of different levels that might appeal to my different readers.  Each place also got a colored pencil for recording their thoughts and opinions.  Each "taster" had a book menu and their own bag of snacks.  I chose a snack that wouldn't be too messy and wouldn't ruin books (no chocolate or candy coatings that would melt).  My students know this is special as usually we do not have food around our books at all.  I wrote their names on the bags so there wouldn't be any mix ups!

How to set up a Book Tasting Party

Students wrote the name of the book and genre.  They then read a page to determine if the book was a good fit for them or not.  Then they decided if this was a book they would like to read or not.  Students had to explain why they thought they would like the book or what made them think they would not.  Last, they rated the book by coloring in stars.  This student really wanted to read Weird Sea Creatures- they colored in all four stars and then added another one just to be sure I knew this is one they liked!  They explained that they enjoyed reading about crazy things.  I would say Weird Sea Creatures are definitely crazy things!

How to set up a Book Tasting Party

This student obviously did not find Weird Sea Creatures as fascinating as the other student.  She only gave it two stars and said the pictures scared her!  That's a valid reason for not wanting to read a book.  No need to give anyone nightmares!

Students moved from place to place until all 6 books had been tasted.  I set a timer for each time and set some fun music to play for a festive mood.  After all the books had been reviewed, I went through to find their favorite book for them to read that week.  Students learned new vocabulary and wrote summaries using key words.  It was a lot of fun!

If you would like a copy of a book tasting menu be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking the envelope below.  Those of you who have already signed up will get this freebie in a newsletter coming out this week!



Do The Chunky Monkey Chop!

Using Reading Strategies to Break Words Chunky Monkey

We've been doing the Chunky Monkey Chop a lot recently during guided reading.  It's catchy and easy for the kids to remember!  This reading strategy helps my little readers break apart words as they are reading.

Using Reading Strategies to Break Words Chunky Monkey Anchor Chart

We started with a blank chart and students gave me different ways they would  use Chunky Monkey to break a word.  Name the strategy and give an example of it on your chart.

We've used the strategy Chunky Monkey for quite awhile.  They know to break apart the words and not stretch them if they are longer words.  Now my students are working on using this strategy quickly and efficiently.  

Using Reading Strategies to Break Words Chunky Monkey Anchor Chart


I want them to be able to break the word and also to be able to link it to which specific Chunky Monkey Chop helped them.  Being able to link to the specific chop helps strengthen the skill for the students.  They love to write their words on Post Its and place them on the chart.  If you use Post Its, you can use the same chart again on different days or for different groups.  

If your students need help with breaking words, let them do The Chunky Monkey Chop!

Breaking Words Apart Activities

Build your own Chunky Monkey Chart

Breaking Words Apart Activities

Students sort words that are already "chopped" to provide scaffolding when learning to break words apart.

Activities for Breaking Words Apart

Words that are not "chopped" can be used in literacy centers with recording sheets.

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