You know, 55% of being a teacher is coming up with clever themes and gimmicks. That's one of my favorite things to do, actually.
Our family nights are meant to be simple, accessible activities that parents can do with their kids. Some things are made at the event and taken home for more practice and fun, and some are activities they only do at the event. Parents are not learning about rigor or testing; rather these events are meant to be low-stakes and easy to participate in. We want parents to enjoy coming to school and doing literacy activities with their kids!
Every year, for Family Literacy Night, I choose a different theme. So far, we've had family nights with these themes: camping, superheroes, movies, and pirates. This year, we chose to go with: outer space! Because we're starting our first year as a STEAM school, we thought it would be important to encourage kids to think about a science topic.
To read about how I plan Literacy Night events, visit this blog post.
I planned seven stations.
We gave out books at the front of the school. Each student gets one free book to take home! That's always a big seller to get students and parents to participate.
After they get a book, students can visit seven different stations that involve listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Students brainstorm as many words as they can for every letter in the alphabet! We tallied up the number of words students came up with and found the top three places. Those students received a little bag with fun stuff! Some space stickers, colored pencils, Starburst, Milky Ways, and other fun prizes. Our #1 winner had 83 words!
Mission ControlStudents found a cozy spot and read space books with their parents. We had many copies of Star Stuff, about Carl Sagan, placed in baskets, as well as other space-related books and other topics of interest.
Students made a fun board game that would help them work on following directions. They built the game and played it with their parents!
At this station, students competed in two different word games. For one game, they hunted for rhyming words, and for the other, they hunted for synonyms. Kids really got involved in this one! We made the station by using plastic wading pools and filling them with balled-up butcher paper. Then we scattered the word cards throughout the paper and had kids start digging!
This might have been my favorite station. First, students and parents made fun partner play hats to show which role they were reading in the play: the alien or the astronaut. Then, students and parents read a fun partner play together about an alien meeting an astronaut.
This station was fun because kids love to get crafty! Kids used a straw and a little spaceship cutout to make a space shuttle. Then they wrote an acrostic poem using the word "Rocket".
This station integrated a little technology by projecting the book Mousteronaut being read aloud on YouTube. It's an adorable story. Kids got to color and write on a retelling wheel to retell the story! Here's the link on YouTube.
At the end of the event, kids got a free dress pass for participating and were allowed to wear free dress the next day!
All in all, Family Literacy Night 2017 was a BLAST! Want to do the activities we did? Grab it on TPT!