Get Ready for International Literacy Day

Illustration by Nick Tankard from Mystery at the Mill, level 5 Helbling Reader written by Elspeth Rawstron. © Helbling Languages

Illustration by Nick Tankard from Mystery at the Mill, level 5 Helbling Reader written by Elspeth Rawstron. © Helbling

Can you imagine your life without reading and writing? Can your students imagine what it would be like not to be able to read and write? Ask your students to finish the sentence ‘If I could’t read/write, I …’ and see what they think of the importance of literacy.

Our literacy skills range on a wide scale of focus areas from ‘simple’ literacy through visual literacy to digital, critical and media literacy. What can you do to raise your students’ awareness of the importance of literacy, and how can you help them improve their literacy skills? We have collected some resources you can immediately use in your school.

1 Get informed and inform others

Start by checking out this infographic about Literacy in the world (UNESCO, 2014) to learn about some data and details. Then browse the UNESCO eAtlas of Literacy to learn about the state of literacy in each country.

Download one (or all) of the five new publications launched by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). You can access the link here.

Read our post to read about the definition and importance of literacy skills. Read the sections ‘What do we teach when we want to improve literacy skills?’ and ‘Let’s see how UNESCO interprets literacy to understand a different aspect of the term’.

Download the guide 'How to help your child read in English' from the Helbling Young Readers website.

Download the guide ‘How to help your child read in English’ from the Helbling Young Readers website.

2 Involve the family and set role models

Read our posts and get our resources that will help you think of ideas to involve the family in improving your students’ literacy skills.

3 Learn about reading strategies and programmes

You can start with a short reading session today and end up with running a successful book club in your school. You might inspire people to start literacy projects and help people who need help with education in your community. You can start by setting small goals and focus on the importance on reading and writing in your classroom.

Remember to ask your students to read and share their reading experiences, and ask them to present their favourite books. Encourage them to read about science, history, cars, fashion or sports, and have a Big Book Talk on this day. Anything that they like reading, understand and love to talk about can be the topic of one lesson. You can also organise writing competitions and poster presentation sessions.

Here are some more ideas on strategies and programmes:

4 Games, games, games

Try one of our Book Club and Reading Games. You can also have some fun with the Quizzes!

5 Browse the web for more ideas

On the UNESCO website you will find information about literacy and the themes and events connected to this day.

Find out more about reading literacy and World Youth Skills in our blog post.

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