Grades K-5 Activity: Creating Literacy Centers

September 10, 2013 Lindsey Graff
reading center expectations cutout variquest

Start the school year off by creating centers that deliver differentiated instruction in a social context to students, while allowing time for you, as a teacher, to meet with small groups for guided reading.

One of the keys to effective learning center instruction is to make sure that student expectations are clear during independent work time. Identify the literacy centers you will create based on your student population, some options include “Poetry Center,” “Computer Center,” “Listening Center,” and “Reading Center.” Use VariQuest Visual Learning Tools to create signs, labels and shapes that will help reinforce the expectations of each center and communicate instructions that will ensure student success and independence.



  • Customize the Book Border (BDR004) poster to show the name of the literacy center and its expectations. Print one poster for each center. Decorate with reading-related shape cutouts such as Book Closed (SIW014) or Child 4-Media Center (SAE193).
  • Create a schedule that shows center assignments for each student using Calendar Week 1 (SCH064). Change the title of the poster to read “Literacy Center Assignments,” and change the title of each day of the week to show the names of the different centers. Print and laminate the poster, then below each center, add the names of students that belong in that group using a dry erase marker and post.
  • Gather one or more plastic tubs for each center to store any supplies, such as books, pencils, paper, etc. Use the Awards Maker template Trophy Label 4” x 2” – 1 line (AWD170) to create labels for each tub. Use different colored stickers or ribbon to color code leveled reading books or tubs for each center.

At the beginning of the year, explain to students that they will have the opportunity to work in literacy centers over the course of the school year. Take a tour of each center and model appropriate activities and behavior to students prior to assigning center activities to individuals.

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