Are You Meeting the 4 Essential Components of Literacy?

Reading, writing, listening and speaking are the four essential components of literacy  (Teale & Sulzby, 1986).  For these activities to become meaningful and interesting, they need to happen within the context of genuine and meaningful activities.  Unfortunately, so many of our AAC users - and other students with significant disabilities - are not accessing literacy learning within meaningful contexts.

components of literacy

So I thought I’d provide a short list to get you started thinking about some really simple ways to provide those for your own students. Because there can be cross-over between the components, I decided not to make a 4-column list, but rather a single list that you can allocate to meet the needs of your own students.

  • chat about current or past experiences/activity
  • make choices
  • read a book, paper, or magazine
  • make a list
  • write an email or text
  • create a poster for a school project, club, or election
  • greet others
  • write in a diary/journal
  • follow directions in a recipe or art project or to construct something
  • write a book for younger children
  • caption a photograph
  • create their own schedule
  • make reminder notes
  • take attendance
  • follow teacher directions
  • answer questions after listening to a story or informational text
  • asking or answering questions
  • making requests
  • finding items in a store or at the library or on a shelf
  • chatting on the bus, on the playground, in the cafeteria
  • delivering notes or papers to the office or other teachers
  • reading a menu/choosing lunch

Teale, W. H., & Sulzby, E. (1986). Emergent

 literacy: Reading and writing. Norwood,

 NJ: Ablex.

You might be interested in my resources for:

Writing with Captions for Early Writers

Writing Activities for Reluctant Writers - lists to stories

Shared Reading Strategies and Templates

Shared - Guided Reading for Special Education

Keep on talking - and reading!

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