Digital literacy tips & tricks: Literacy fundamentals part 2 — Reading

This is the second part of our short series of posts on literacy fundamentals. Catch up on part 1 — speaking & listening.

In this post I’ll share some ideas for encouraging your students of different abilities to read. One of the aspects of the newspapers module, which is new to Discovery Education Espresso, is the fact that the printable resources can be used again and again with articles featured within the module (our name for a collection of resources), or with articles from other sources.

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English 2 > Newspapers > Printable resources

There is a collection of newspaper articles chosen for their range of topics, interest and relevance. You could choose some for PSHE or philosophy  work, if you do a programme like that with your children.

Take the article on Cecil the lion, triggering a call for a hunting ban. As with all the articles, there are three versions, meaning you have differentiated material to use on the same topic (see below).

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English 2 > Newspapers > Articles

If students haven’t spent much time analysing newspaper articles before, the printable resource Identifying features of a newspaper article is a good place to start. The printable resources on Headlines, Fact and opinion detective and Word meanings help students focus on specific aspects of news articles.

If you haven’t come across our free strategies — called SOS (Spotlight on Strategies) — start by taking a look at the 6 word story strategy. The strategies provide easy to use ideas to incorporate digital media; i.e. videos, images, audio, etc., into your lessons.

So, 6 word story is great to use with news videos, but I’m suggesting here that it could be used as a follow up activity to reading a news article. Students would read through an article, either together or in pairs, and then create their own 6 word version of the content. This really helps students to focus on the key information in the story and consolidate what they’ve learnt into just a few words.

The Comprehension (lower and upper KS2) and the Love reading with Espresso modules offer great opportunity to excite students with extracts of a wide range of texts. You could match these up to books in your library by the same author.

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English 2 > Comprehension – lower

English 2 > Comprehension – upper

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English 1 > Love reading with Espresso

Hopefully these extracts of text will encourage students to find books they’re interested in and read the whole thing!

Why not print out the transcript of a video, and have students use it before or after watching the video?

The Traditional tales videos in upper KS2 (we have lower and KS1 also) are written more like play scripts, so you could easily divide students into groups and have them act out parts.

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Finally, for students grappling with phonics, we have a great range of activities for each phase of letters and sounds, which really encourage students to think about the meaning as well as the phoneme.

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English 1 > Phonics > Polly’s Phonics Phase 3 > Activities

I hope this post has given some ideas of how resources in Espresso can help your students with aspects of reading.

We’d love to hear about the resources you’ve used in your classes.

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