What was the last thing you read? Maybe it was a road sign to find your way, or the label on a prescription bottle. When did you last use a computer and why? Was it to update your FaceBook status or to fill out an online insurance claim? What could you learn that would make your life easier, or more interesting? Maybe it’s another language, social media, or how to drive.
Reading, computer use, and continuous learning are just a few of the basic skills needed in our daily lives and we don’t often think about them. They’re called the 9 Essential Skills and they include:
- Document use
- Oral Communication
- Thinking Skills
- Working with Others
- Digital Technology
- Continuous Learning
These skills are seen as “building blocks” because they are the starting point for all future learning. These “starter skills” are needed whether we are baking a cake at home or balancing a budget at work, so it’s easy to see how important it is to develop them in our children, and for adults to keep them fresh. One way adults can do this is by incorporating family literacy activities into the daily lives of their families.
Making a scrapbook is a great way for the whole family to target those essential skills. On the Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Bus, we have a very simple example of a scrapbook. There are many different types, and they can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. This activity potentially uses all 9 essential skills, so periodically take time to review your creation and talk about what you have learned.
A scrapbook is fun for kids to work on. They love to see themselves in pictures and hear their own stories. The finished product is a great learning tool for the kids, and what you put in the scrapbook can be a record of your other family literacy activities.
- Small photo album
- Family photos
- Flash cards
- Stickers for decoration
Choose photos (eg. family vacation). Insert into a sleeve.
Create a book cover using another flashcard. Insert into front sleeve.
Try letting them narrate their own story while you act as the scribe. If you make new books each week, month or year, you will see how their skills progress over time.