What additional materials can teachers include in the literacy suitcase? Teachers can add accessory materials to the suitcase, such as a board or paperback book, blank books, word cards, and fill-in-the- blank papers.These are the same accessories teachers often add to the basic writing center in the classroom. Chapter 5 describes how to make these materials. Teachers may occasionally include mark- ers, crayons, envelopes, and tape. Children often use markers and crayons in the same way as they use pencils to experiment with writing. Some children may make their own small books using the paper and tape. What should teachers avoid including in the literacy suitcase? Teachers should avoid including art supplies, such as glue and scissors, in the suitcase.The inclusion of these art materials may encourage some children to focus more attention on art activities rather than on writing explorations. Children sometimes use art supplies for cutting and gluing activities. The suitcase might come back with name cards cut in half or glued together! Where can teachers find the supplies for literacy suitcases? Teachers can find small plastic school boxes in the school-sup- plies section of many discount stores. Paper and pencils, as well as supplies for making name and wordcards, are available through school-supply catalogs.Other suggestions for the literacy suitcase include a small lunch box, an empty craft box, a backpack, or even an old briefcase. Chapter 5 gives a detailed description of the types of paper and pencils to provide for writing activities. The activities in this chapter show many examples of different combinations of supplies. Howdo teachers plan what to include in the suitcase? Teachers should evaluate the age range and experience of the group as well as the developmental levels of individual children.If a child is not yet experimenting with writing in the classroom, the teacher may send home a basic literacy suitcase to stimulate inter- est in writing (activity 8.1). This basic suitcase is often the first type sent home with children. If a child demonstrates high interest in copying letters and words at the writing center,the teacher may include a book and word cards related to the book. The suitcase may also contain fill-in-the-blank papers. Teachers of kindergarten children may select morecomplex accessories, such as story starters or small journals for record keeping. Suggestions for 260 More Than Letters chapter 8.qxd 11/12/10 11:10 AM Page 260