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Literacy Bags

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A collection of ideas to use when putting together literacy bags for you classroom.
Take Home Bags
Posted by:Lori #76561

This has been a HUGE success in my classroom. I have taught first and second grade, and the kids get so excited about it and the parents love it. I have never had a problem getting all my bags and "things" back, and I have worked in both the inner city for 5 years, and now I am in an upper middle class district for 6. I put some examples, but I would be more than happy to list all my bags if you want. I have added every year since I started using them years ago.

The bags vary a lot. They are decorated on the outside. I prefer to use canvas bags, since they can be washed and hold up well. They each have a few books and a two activities they can do with their parents. The children take home a bag on Thursday, and keep it until Monday. I do this because that way...

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Traveling Bookbag
Posted by:TeacherLisa1st #119932

Hi, I do these in my first grade room! I call it a Traveling Bookbag. I usually end up doing a new one every 2 months because some kids forget to bring it back the next day, so it takes awhile to get to everyone's house.
I include a book, sometimes a stuffed animal, several games/manipulative, a word search or cut-out puppets (something they can keep), a student journal, glitter crayons and a parent journal. For example, in October I send a Gail Gibbons book about pumpkins w/seeds for sorting and counting, special crayons and directions for students to draw their own silly pumpkin in the journal and write about it, a pumpkin card memory game w/ different sizes and shapes, etc.
I have directions on the baggies for all the games & seeds, I also have directions attached to the bag...

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Literacy Bags
Posted by:Petunia #96039

What grade? I would put "Whisper Phones" in a couple. Get two pieces of curved PVC plastic pipe at the hardware store and glue them together (looks like a telephone receiver) Students whisper in one end and at the other end they can hear what they are whispering. *****I would buy a couple Walk-ems however you spell it at Wal-mart for five dollars each and tape a book for the students to read and listen. ******I would put a small stuff animal in some for the students to read to. ****read a book and put supplies in the bag to make a puppet... Send me an e-mail for more ideas and what grade you are making these for... How many activities do you plan to put in each bag? I would put a book in each bag to read.

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Posted by:Lori #76617

I teach first grade. I have used bags for years. Here are some ideas I came up with.

I have an estimation station bag that
the children take home. You could adapt that to third grade with more objects and have them problem solve how to make an
estimate easier, and even have them graph the contents.

Also I do a fact bag for + and - you could do a multiplication fact bag.

For everything we study like penguins and lady
bugs, we have a bag. You could use higher level literature and questions for your bags. (I put in stuffed creatures and stickers, but I bet third graders would like that too!) Our third grade teacher did a neat solar system bag and one of the projects was to make a planet using all sorts of materials. (She included a Styrofoam ball in...

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Literacy Bag Topic - Mail inventory
Posted by:Sandy #96040

I am also working on literacy bags this summer. I have one that I'm starting on right now - its called Mail Inventory. I got this idea from the IL reading conference and I am adapting it for second grade. I'm using the books Dear Mrs. LaRue, Detective LaRue, and First Year Letters. The activities I have so far are: Activity One: Create a postcard from a favorite place. Draw a picture on the blank side and write a letter to your class describing this place. Be sure to include the school address on the postcard. Activity 2: The post office makes stamps that show important people, places, or events. Think about something that is important enough for everyone to see every day. Draw a picture of what you think that stamp should look like. Write a 2 or three sentences about why you think it is important enough...

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book bags
Posted by:Cathy-Dee #45866

First book bags.

I just use zip lock bags for my book bags, but I'll have to check out Superstore when I'm back in Edmonton as it would be nice to have better bags too.

Thankfully my school gave us lots of money to buy leveled books for our classrooms, so these are the books I use for sending home. I tend to start everyone off around the same level until I have a chance to see where they are all at. I usually send home 2 books each night and sometimes 3 for the weekend. The students are supposed to return the bags daily even if they didn't read the books.

I also include a sheet that is simply a form that has a place for the name of the book, date and parent comments. At the beginning of the year I...

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Help with BAGS!!
Posted by:Third Grade Teacher #76678

Here are some themes that I have thought of.
If you could help me with what to do with my
Literacy Bags for these themes (3rd grade) , I would really appreciate it!

Explorers and/or Columbus/Lewis&Clark
Quilts and/or Underground Railroad
Fairy Tales
Apples (Johnny Appleseed)
TALL Tales
George Washington / Abe Lincoln (Presidents)

Frogs (life cycle)
Butterfly (life cycle)
Water Cycle
Rocks (and Minerals)

I have numerous books for these subjects so that is covered. What about activities?

Here are some books that they love that I could make bags for:

Amelia Bedelia
The Teacher From The Black Lagoon
Magic School Bus (any!!)

Authors we study:

Patricia Polacco
Tomie dePaola
Steven Kellogg
Kevin Henkes
Jan Brett


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Re literacy bags
Posted by:Patty #42726

Hi Heather. Literacy bags are bags( cloth or whatever you have) with several books that are theme related. For example, a bag on seasons might include the books Frederick, A Busy Year, In for Winter, Out for Spring, The Four Seasons, etc. Also, there would be a journal of some kind so the child could write responses to some questions you want answered ( put your favorite story in sequence, find 10 descriptive words in a book,etc.) and some sort of activity, like a leaf stencils. Some of the activities could be for skills or just for fun. They are wonderful to use but I guess I wanted some new ideas for mine. I hope this helps. Oh, the child would take the bag home say on Monday and return it completed on Thursday. Then you would send it home with someone else the next Monday. You could have several...

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Traveling Animals or Bags
Posted by:linda #62776

I have done a Teddy's Adventures in my class. Each child gets to take Teddy the bear home for the night. They take care of him and record what they did together. Teddy has his own back pack (small crayola backpack) with pj's, a toothbrush, storybook for bedtime, his journal (which is a copybook) and a camera. The children were allowed to take three pictures on his visit. The stories are always interesting. The children loved it. I only have 21 last year so Teddy went home with the children on three different occasions. When Teddy came back to school the next day, we shared his adventure with the class. The who take him home always love to see the pictures from the other children. When Teddy was in the classroom, he did everything with us- from going on class trips to doing centers with the children....

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Thank you! My Literacy Bags
Posted by:AmberM #96093

Thanks for all the replies and for the ones still to post!

I Teach First Grade... and love it!

My Bags are the plain cavas type bags, I get them in the craft department at Wal-Mart or Michaels. I sew three large snaps across the top.I design the bag front on my computer with print artist 12.0 or I scan in a related book cover, then I print it on iron on paper and then transfer onto the bag.

My students all must have their parents sign a form at the beginning of the year so the parents know the bags will come weekly and the rules and care for them. If items are missing or the bag is not returned the child may not get another one until its returned or replaced. Since they have a signed form we are allowed also to hold report cards until its return, however...

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home reading programs
Posted by:Cathy-Dee #10940

I have had both success and failures with home reading programs. As the other post mentions it is often the parents we are encouraging more than the children. Here are some things we do to encourage reading at home.

- availability of books - some families do not have books at home, especially books that the students should be able to read as well

- I send home books in a book bag with a sheet that the parents sign - it is quite simple - title of book(s), date and a space for comments. The students get a sticker on a chart for each day they bring back their book bag AND their sheet is filled out. I had too many children this past year who would take their bags back and forth and yet no one was reading with them.

- I hold a parent meeting first thing in the...

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upstart literacy bags
Posted by:readerabbit #124327

I buy my literacy bags from They are double plasitic draw string bags. They have a good selection of reading logos. I service 50 kids a day and the bags hold up very good. You can order from the site or they will send you a catalog that has some neat logos that can be used for bull. bds. I have found clearance sells sometimes. Last year I orderd for my whole district that wanted bags

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