Ideas for Literacy Centers

"The best thing for being sad is to learn something. It is the only thing that never fails."
-from T. H. White's The Once and Future King

On this page are resources and ideas for centers. Remember centers should pass three tests:
1.) Are students reading and writing at the center? In the primary grades, students may also be engaged in word study.
2.) Is the center something that can be a routine/procedure? It is the same thing students do everyday or on a weekly basis.
3.) Think about your time and students' time. It won't require your time to keep making things for the center. Students won't be done in 2 minutes.

Ideas for Centers

AmazingWordsBook.pdf (Thank you to the Salemwood teachers who developed this resource.)
vocabulary foldables.pdf

Partner Reading Bookmark.pdf
Partner Reading Anchor Chart.pdf (Thank you to D. Senopoulos at the Ferryway for this resource.)
Partner Reading Sample Anchor Chart.pdf
Article Descrbing How to Set Up Partner Reading.pdf
Directions for Fluency Center
Recording Sheet for Fluency Center
Need passages for a fluency center. Ask your building's literacy coach. They have several sources of decodable texts and others for a fluency center.

See Page on Reader's Responses for Ideas for Your Writing Center
Top Ten Things to Do with Retelling Cards.pdf

Poetry Center
In grades K-2, students can keep a notebook where they can cut and paste the poem into a notebook. As they collect more and more poems, students partner read and repeatedly read previous poems. They can chart the number of words they have read in one minute or the time it takes to read the poem.
Great Ideas for How to Extend Your Poetry Center
One Teacher Explains Her Poetry Center
Magnetic Poetry (Students can go on the computer can create their own magnetic poetry.)
Sources for Poems
Great Source from a First Grade Teacher
Can Teach Poems-Lots of Poems
Great Collection of Poems
Great List of Poems for All Occasions
Lots of Poems
More and More Poems
Giggle Poetry (Use these poems as a fluency center in the older grades. Have students pick a poem and perform the class.)
Robert Pottle's Website (Funny unusual poems)
More Pottle Poetry (More Fun unusual poems)

Independent Reading Book Bags
If the Book Fits, Read It!.pdf ( A Powerpoint that gives a student friendly explanation of how they should choose their own books.)
Independent Reading Anchor Chart.pdf (Thank you to D. Senopoulos at the Ferryway for this resource.)
Examples of Reading Logs
Another Reading Log Example
Kindergarten Book Log.pdf (Thank you to N. Maguire at the Ferryway for this form she uses with her kindergartners at mid-point in the year.)
Books I Have Read.pdf
Books I Have Read with Summary.pdf

Listening Center
Primary Grades Listening Center Recording Sheet for Fiction
Primary Grades Listening Center Recording Sheet for Non-Fiction

Write the Room
Write the Room Recording Sheet


A workboard is a visual organizer for students of what they should do for centers or independent/group work while teachers meet with small groups.
LiteracyCenterIconsBSRI.pdf (Thank you to Bay State for this resource.)
Another way to manage centers is giving each student a set of centers they must complete by the end of the week.
literacy centers checklist.doc (Thank you N. Maguire at the Ferryway who uses this sheet to track students' centers for the week. Students keep all of their work in a folder.)

Great management tip: If you find the noise level rises towards the middle of your small group time, stop the class. Remind students of the comprehension strategy that you are focused on that week and ask if they have applied it. For example, you might say, "Boys and girls, we've been discussing how good readers summarize while they read. Have you summarized today while you were reading? Think to yourself." Pause for 30 seconds. And then state, "Readers, back to work." The brief pause allows students to quiet and settle back to work. The interruption should last less than 2 minutes.

Wesbites for More Resources

Grades K-3 Literacy Centers/Stations
Carls Corner with Lots of Resources
Grade 3 Center Ideas

Primary Literacy Centers More Websites