Why are literacy suitcases important?
Literacy suitcases encourage emergent writing in young children
and build home-school relationships.Children progress through
predictable stages in writing over a period of time. The literacy
suitcase provides additional opportunities for the emergence of
writing. The suitcase is enjoyable and nonthreatening. It educates
parents about how children progress through the stages in writ-
ing. Chapter 1 contains detailed information about the stages in
the emergence of writing in young children.
How have literacy suitcases evolved?
Literacy suitcases have evolved from supplies of general writing
and art materials to suitcases focused primarily on writing activi-
ties.We designed our original literacy suitcases based on an article
by Susan Rich (see “The Writing Suitcase” in Young Children,July
1985). She suggested that teachers send home paper, pencils,
markers, tape, and a stapler to encourage children to write at
home. While we noticed that children wereexcited to take the
suitcase home, we also observed that many children used the
materials for art collages and drawing activities rather than for
writing explorations. For this reason, teachers began to experi-
ment with variations of the suitcase. Some teachers removed all
the art supplies; others included a small book in the suitcase.
Some teachers included name cards for all the children in the
group. We began to find more samples of children’s writing in
the suitcases returned to us. For example, many children began to
produce marks that moreclosely resembled the linear formof
writing rather than the circular formof drawing. Some children
copied the name and word cards. Parents also provided us with
valuable information about their children’s emergent writing.
Why are literacy suitcases an important part of the
Literacy suitcases encourage children to construct concepts
related to the meaning of print and the mechanics of written com-
munication. The suitcases also help teachers communicate valuable
literacy-development information to parents.The literacy suitcase is
abridge between school and home. It educates parents about the
value of exploring writing. In some cases, the literacy suitcase
provides materials that may not be available at home.
Howdo literacy suitcases encourage children to
construct the concepts related to writing?
Literacy suitcases provide writing supplies and accessories that
encourage children to experiment with written communication.The
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