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LLJ - 101 Literacy Lifters for Junior Classes

Key ideas, activities and practices

About the Course

We researched, we consulted, we trawled and now we deliver into your lap, the very best 101 literacy activities for junior classes, to be used as is, or tweaked, adapted and further embellished to give literacy a lift across the junior classes. The material covers oral language, reading, writing, phonics, spelling, poetry and more.
Now how does one deliver a semblance of the creative and inspiring literacy lifting ideas that await within the course? I suppose a quick introduction to just one may be helpfully illustrative. Let’s take one that’s simply called ‘Cilla the Gorilla’!

Our Class Teddy - Cilla the Gorilla 

Cilla the Gorilla is a very important member of our class and with whom the children have a real bond. Every Friday a different child gets to bring Cilla home to spend time with their families. The children must draw pictures in Cilla’s copybook showing all the things the teddy did with their family. On Monday the child tells the children in the class all the things they did with Cilla the Gorilla. This really encourages the children to become more self-confident. It is great for the rest of the class to see what adventures the class teddy had.  

Our class teddy stays in our classroom from Monday until Friday. It sometimes goes on little outings with children. Sometimes they bring Cilla out to the yard or to the school garden. Cilla is great for helping children who find it difficult to mix in the yard. The children tell me who Cilla played with in the yard and what games they played. A teddy is such a great way for helping children to express their feelings. We sometimes use our class teddy during circle time where children tell us things they are frightened of, or how they can be brave or children give each other compliments.  

Cilla is a central part of our literacy programme and helps out with oral language, reading and writing.

Every child in turn brings Cilla home for an evening or a weekend. The idea is that the child then recounts Cilla’s experiences when back in class the next day i.e. the games played, the meals ate, the TV programme watched, where Cilla went, who Cilla met etc.

  1. Oral Language: The child recounts where Cilla went, what Cilla saw and did etc. 
  2. Questions: Classmates can ask Cilla questions and the child who had Cilla home can speak & answer on behalf of Cilla (be Cilla’s voice and conscience).
  3. Writing: The teacher can act as scribe and write up the recount on the whiteboard, which the children then take down into their news copy and illustrate. This then becomes high interest reading material for the children. Or let the children write up their own account, mistakes and all.
  4. 'Cilla Copy': When Cilla goes home with a child, the ‘Cilla copybook’ also goes home. Before coming back to class, the child records onto a new page what he/she and ‘Cilla the Gorilla’ got up to together! And of course, draw the requisite picture. Over time this copy builds into a collection of Cilla adventures, written by the children and the children love it. They meet all sorts of words, work on handwriting and sentence construction, invent and approximate spelling, a wonderful copybook of real, engaging, meaningful, connected and authentic writing by the child. It builds into the collected adventures of Cilla, all authored by the collective pupils of first class.
  5. The 'Teddy on tour project': This is an excellent idea. Two schools twin / pair up, and each sends the other their class teddy by ‘An Post’ for two weeks, and thus begins a whole new level of craziness, communication & cooperation between both classes through email and Skype video.

‘Cilla the Gorilla’ is just 1 of 101 Literacy Lifting ideas for junior classes! Others include:

  • Big books & story sacks
  • Virtual author visits & readings
  • Power of the free writing copy
  • The scribe on the side
  • Drywipe literacy
  • From spelling approximations to accuracy
  • Velcro and magnetic letters
  • Book writing to book making
  • Things to do with poems
  • The six step reading lesson approach

Across the course we share some of our best literacy teaching tips to help you improve and empower your teaching techniques. From using clever pointers while reading to engaging students through acting, there are ideas that will help push your literacy teaching skills to the next level. 

Not only that, but wait until all teachers attending the course begin sharing their own ‘Literacy Lifting Gems’ within the ‘Teacher Share’ area of the discussion forums. That 101 could become 201, or 301 – the sky’s the limit! Exciting.

Enrol with us today and let the countdown begin …….5,4,3,2,1… blast-off literacy! 


The online format of this course enables you to study at a time and place that best suits your own needs. 

You can access your course anytime until February 28th 2023.

Within this highly interactive web based course, a dynamic learning experience awaits, where you can interact with your fellow course participants through the in-course chat forums and communication tools provided by the CPD College learning system. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors actively support each course, providing expert interaction, guidance and feedback for all participants on chat questions and assignments which call for critical reflection, self-analysis and a reasoned response. 

On successful completion of your course, you can download and print off your CPD record and certificate of completion.

We look forward to welcoming you to your course.

Learning outcomes

This course aims to:

  • Outline and detail 101 things teachers can do to give literacy an added lift in the junior classes
  • Equip teachers with evidence-based approaches and strategies to build literacy skills
  • Explore and outline oral language development activities
  • Supply approaches, strategies and ideas towards progressing reading skills development
  • Share practices, tips and skill building tasks for writing 
  • Specify some approaches to spelling skills and vocabulary development
  • Equip teachers with a suite of assessment approaches in junior classes e.g. AoL & AfL
  • Showcase how digital tools and software can help support literacy teaching and learning
  • Review research/literature/writings on literacy to extrapolate good practice points
  • Look at one’s own ‘Teacher Practice in Literacy’ as part of the SSE process.
01 - Effective literacy practice: Covering pointers to effective literacy practice, we explore and detail effective evidence-based teaching approaches that deliver for literacy as per New Language requirements; including modelling, prompting, formative feedback etc. all happening within a classroom engineered for literacy, concluding with a 23 point guided scoring audit of own literacy teacher practice.
02 - Oral language: We cover a variety of spoken texts, skills and rules while exploring oral reports, storytelling, giving instructions, poetry, drama, games and more.
03 - Phonics: Successful reading requires an armory of word attack and word identification skills & strategies, such as applying the phonics code, synthetic methodology, phonological awareness etc. – all covered here through skill building activities.
04 - Reading: Focusing in on reading strategies and approaches. We provide ideas around motivating readers, fostering reading enjoyment, the six-step approach to a reading lesson, instructional strategies for reading, questioning, comprehension, fluency and other key reading pointers.
05 - Writing: We cover writing skills development, encompassing the provision of ideas that foster the impulse to write using stimulating tasks and activities across genres, while paying attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation and good use of vocabulary, all overlaid by continuous and judicious assessment techniques.

"This course is undoubtedly the best course I have completed to date for a myriad of reasons. From the very first module, I found this course to be engaging, enticing, concise, informative, practical and resourceful and this continued right through to the end of Module 5. It is exactly what I needed going into next year, the various strategies, tips, resources and ideas which I am already looking forward to trying out. I liked the fact that there were many new ideas/activities / games in this course."  Michelle, 2021