Literacy at home

Literacy  and Math Activities to Try With Your Family

  •         Play with words
  •         Bake a favourite recipe.
  •         Tell a story about growing up.
  •         Tell the story of your birth
  •         Write out a phone message for a member of your family
  •         When you are travelling with your parent or guardian, give the directions
  •         Tell a traditional story about your culture
  •         Put a message on a sticky note and place it on the fridge for your parent or guardian
  •         Look at family photographs and tell stories together
  •         Make up stories when you are travelling together
  •         Make a scrapbook about something that interests you
  •         Play cards
  •         Play board games
  •         Read poetry/write poetry
  •         Make up tongue twisters
  •         Look up words you don’t know in a dictionary or an online dictionary together
  •         Read a news story out loud and have a talk about what you think about it
  •         Learn a song and teach it to your parent or guardian
  •         Write an email together to a friend or family member
  •         Get some refrigerator word magnets and play with them
  •         Write a thank you card together
  •         Watch a TV show together and talk about the main idea
  •         Watch a movie and see whether you can summarize it in just five sentences
  •         Read a book together and then watch a movie version. Talk about the differences between the versions
  •         Write out the family shopping list
  •         When you are travelling together, point out street signs, ads and other text that is interesting
  •         Read a computer manual or online instructions together
  •         Put something together that comes with plans
  •         Read something while thinking about the author’s message
  •         Write a letter to yourself to help you think through a problem
  •         “Read between the lines” and see if you can make an inference about the way someone in your family is behaving. (Example: “Based on the fact that you are rushing around the house frantically looking in every drawer, I’m going to infer that you’ve lost your keys again, Dad.”)
  •         Make a connection between an idea in a book and something from your own experience
  •         Go through an old photo album with a family member and take turns telling each other stories. If you don’t know the people in the photos, make up stories that might fit
  •         Give a five minute summary of a movie you recently enjoyed to a friend but remember not to ruin the story by giving away the ending!
  •         Translate a “tweet” or text message into full sentences if your mom or dad have difficulty with the language of texting
  •         Translate a conversation from one language to another for a friend or family member
  •         Make up a new verse to one of your favourite songs

 Math Activities

  •         Play with numbers
  •         Estimate speed/distance/time relationships while traveling with your family. What was the average speed of the last trip you took?
  •         Examine maps with your family. Estimate distances. Find locations.
  •         Make a favourite recipe together
  •         Log and graph sports scores over time. Find trends.
  •         Log and then graph daily temperatures over a one-week period with your family. (Make sure you take the temperature at the same time each day.)
  •         Estimate quantities and volumes during activities like gardening, planning food for a trip, or collecting recycling
  •         Track three different stocks and see how they do in one month
  •         Do mental calculations such as estimating grocery or restaurant bills
  •         Pay cash for a purchase at the register. Count your change to make sure the cashier gave you back the correct amount of money.
  •         Pay cash for a purchase with exactly the required money
  •         Read stories with your child, identifying mathematical elements like patterns, shapes, numbers, and concepts
  •         Play family games like Blokus, Khet: the laser game, Battleship, Chess, and games with spinners/dice
  •         Identify geometric and number patterns in your everyday routine
  •         Measure household items with non-standard tools (spoon, magazine) as well as standard tools (ruler, tape measure)
  •         Calculate how long it will take to save for a certain item your family would like to buy using your money from part-time jobs or chores
  •         Weigh the family and pets. Chart the weights.
  •         Calculate a bat/run average for a specific baseball player
  •         Make a weekly schedule with your family. Make time estimations for different activities.
  •         Read signs with your family while driving. Specifically look for advertising that has a math concept imbedded in it. Talk about it.
  •         Explain how to calculate the tip at a restaurant. Do the calculation together.
  •         Open a bank account. Many “youth accounts” have brochures that explain interest rates. Read the literature together and decide which type of account will earn the best rates, minimize your transaction costs, and meet your minimum balance plans.
  •         Look at sports statistics. Have a discussion about an interesting trend.
  •         Go grocery shopping together. Compare prices. Estimate price per kilogram. Which is the better price?
  •         Talk about items “on sale.” Do some internet research to find out whether other vendors have similar products costing more or less.
  •         Talk about lotteries. Examine the odds.
  •         Talk about how a credit card works. Look at a statement together.
  •         Look at your electricity, gas or water bill. Which commodity costs your family the most?
  •         Look at charts and graphs that appear in newspapers or magazines you receive. Find one that has information that interests your family. Talk about the chart or graph.
  •         Examine different cell phone packages. Which is the best value for your calling pattern and payment preferences?
  •         Calculate how much water it takes to fill the bathtub. Calculate how much water is used during a five minute shower. Calculate how much water it would take to water a residential lawn.
  •         Go to and type in “math tricks” into the search line. Explore some of the videos with your family.
  •         The next time you are in a car and someone is filling it with gas, notice the price per litre. Figure out how many litres you could buy for five bucks. Ask the person who is driving how much fuel his or her car uses per kilogram and then figure out how far you could go for five dollars.
  •         As a favour, double check someone else’s calculations or offer to do the calculation for that person. “I figured out which is the better deal. Can I tell you?”

 Please click on file below for Word format:

Literacy Activities


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