Literacy in Action: Creating Literacy Rich Environments

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Both indoor and outdoor spaces arranged so children can:

  • engage in meaningful firsthand learning that makes the need for language real and necessary
  • develop awareness of the purpose and use of print
  • use language, talking, listening, writing, and reading in connection with their interactions with their physical world and socially with others
  • use language to manage themselves, convince another of their point of view, and control their social, play, and physical environments
  • think through an idea, reflecting on their experiences, and clarify their own thinking
  • experience success as they gain new language skills and knowledge

To accomplish this, teachers elect to organize the physical environment, both indoors and out-of-doors, through centers of interest. Centers of interest are areas of the room or play yard that are clearly defined with either actual dividers or suggested boundaries. They contain materials and equipment organized to promote specific types of learning. The materials are carefully arranged so children can see the choices available, and make decisions about which materials they will use, and how Bronson, 1995.

Taking on the appearance of a workshop, these interest centers, or learning areas, permit children to make choices about how and what they will learn. The areas of interest enable individualization of instruction to take place as children themselves select the materials to use, decide how to use them, and determine the purposes for their use.


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Creating Literacy Rich Environments