Literacy lesson plans should be tailored to the age of the students. In early childhood, the focus is typically on learning to write, learning the letters and letter sounds, and learning to read. Once writing and reading has been mastered, literacy lesson plans for older children will shift to developing proper composition, reading comprehension, and improving vocabulary.
Children between the ages of three to five typically focus on learning to recognize the letters of the alphabet, letter sounds, strengthening the hand coordination needed for writing, and beginning to write the letters. At this age, lesson plans typically involve games and songs that provide repeated exposure to the letter names as well as repetition of the letter sounds. Children will eventually begin to learn to read, and lesson plans will involve learning to sound out words, memorizing sight words or words encountered over and over, and practicing to read simple books.
To strengthen the hand coordination needed for writing, lesson plans for children between three and five will also be centered on making art projects which require coloring, pasting, cutting, and manipulating materials. Lesson plans will also include listening to picture books read aloud in order to work on language assembly and reading comprehension. Learning to read and write can difficult and frustrating for young children, so lesson plans for this age group need to challenge and strengthen skills but not frustrate, and should be accompanied by frequent praise and positive feedback.
Literacy lesson plans for children between the ages of five and nine will focus on continuing to strengthen the ability to write the alphabet in upper and lower case letters and eventually introduce cursive writing. Lesson plans will also begin to work on composition by teaching simple grammar rules, writing style, and spelling. Reading skills and comprehension will be strengthened by providing more sophisticated and longer books. At this age, lesson plans will often aim to hone more than one skill at a time. For example, a lesson plan may involve having the children write books, poems, and letters, which will simultaneously strengthen their writing, practice correct sentence formation, and work on vocabulary and spelling.
Most children over the age nine will have basic writing and reading skills, so literacy lesson plans will shift to improving writing style, grammar, and vocabulary. Children at this age are typically taught different forms of writing, such as poetry, the standard business letter, and essays. Lesson plans will involve teaching research and fact gathering skills to add depth to the writing. In order to test reading comprehension and broaden their vocabulary, literacy lesson plans will also aim to expose older kids to varied and challenging books.