Cropped view of a group of children sitting at a blue table, painting pictures on colorful paper.  The boys and girls are unrecognizable, with only their hands and arms visible.
One of my favourite ways to teach literacy is through the arts. This allows us to reach the varying styles, needs, wants, interests and capabilities of every learner.

And we can do this in a variety of ways…

Through film…for many kids picking up a book can be a daunting task and it often becomes a struggle between parent and child. Through quality film children are still able to analyze characters, plots and themes, predict, make inferences, summarize, conclude and more.

Music: From as young as we can remember, music and literacy naturally go together, there is opportunity for learning through musical play for the younger audiences i.e. rhythm and rhyme activities and there is just as much opportunity for the older audiences, from composing and reading notes to having kids express their reactions to select compositions in a variety of ways i.e. through writing, drawing or dance!

Dance: Its movement and expression. Kids can choose from a variety of dance styles in order to convey how a character from a book or one they made up might be feeling i.e. dancing to more upbeat tempos might translate to feelings of happiness. Through dance children can retell an entire story!

Mixed Media Arts: Kids can choose their favorite media for example charcoal, watercolors and pastels or encourage them to try something new and use this to retell a story, change up the ending of a story or create their own!

Photography can also be another great literacy tool. It gives you, the audience an opportunity to see the world through their eyes. Have them take a series of pictures that tell a story.

When adapted, all of the above mentioned are ideal for children and youth of all ages, they are great methods for literacy instruction, they can also be used as a tool to access learning outcomes; are they able to retell the story, to identify the plot or theme of a story, make inferences, describe and/or relate to the characters and more.

By simply providing a variety of options to choose from based on interests such as film, dance or music, increases engagement leading to overall achievement and increased self-confidence and self-esteem.