• Welcome to Literacyhead!

    A Literacyhead is someone who is intensely serious about exercising creative literacy, making connections across multiple literacies, pursuing thoughtful literacy as an individual and as a teacher, and constantly searching for ideas. Literacyheads may have expertise in different areas of literacy, but all are committed to children's literacy, passionate about the arts, incessant thinkers, and display a propensity for having fun
  • What is Literacyhead?

    We wanted to help teachers nurture their creative lives while they meet the demands of high accountability to which they are subject. We saw that art naturally differentiates lessons leading to more student engagement and less time planning. We love children's books and art, and the connections between the two make us positively giddy.
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  • Vocabulary Lessons

    In our "Visual Vocabulary" we select five words from a featured book in our Reading Lessons and provide four images that illustrate the meaning of each word. In accordance with vocabulary research, three of the images are examples of the word's meaning and the last one is a "non-example." In addition, we present a definition simple enough for students to remember and really "get" what the word means.
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  • High-frequency Word Lessons

    Here we've created sets of images and discussion prompts designed to help you teach high-frequency words with visual art. Use the six images and accompanying sentences to make concrete connections to these abstract words. These lessons pair wonderfully with vocabulary words, reading lessons, and writing lessons.
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Our Blog

  • In The Girl With A Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran by Rita Rohanforuz and Vali Mintzi (Barefoot Books, 2013), Shiraz, the main character finds herself at the home of an old woman who is tired and angry. She takes Shiraz to her kitchen, piled high with dishes and mess, and tells Shiraz to break all the dishes. [...]

  • As of late, Jan has had commitments that have required all of her time.  Because Jan is busy, I, Kim, will write a first-person Slice of Life. Once again, thank you to all of the fine folks at Two Writing Teachers who make this possible! Because it was my very first book, the arrival of Reading [...]

  • “Sit.  Feast on your life.”                           ~Derek Wolcott   Happy New Year! Isn’t the energy of a new year so…intoxicating? Don’t you wish you could jar it up and take it out during the doldrums of March and the frenzy of May to [...]

  • Although our interest in athletics is limited to stopping to watch kids kick a ball around a field as we stroll through the park, baseball is a recurring theme in our writing lives as we’ve written about it here, here, and here.  Oddly enough, here we are, once again poised to talk about…baseball! We were [...]

  • “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is  ‘Thank You,’ it will be enough.”                                                                           [...]

  • Most of us have peeled a banana the same way for our whole lives, having learned from our parents, who likely peeled bananas from the top. In this video, which has been viewed more than 11 million times, we see a demonstration of the way monkeys actually peel a banana. So here’s the magic question: [...]

  • Recently, we wrote a lead for the Choice Literacy newsletter, The Big Fresh, in which we told the story of Daisy, a little girl whose efforts to self-select a text that appeals to her are thwarted by her teacher’s loving, albeit misguided, focus on text level. You can read the Daisy story here. First of all, we [...]

  • “If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius.” —Michelangelo in reference to the Sistine Chapel. Conversations about mindset often begin with talk about whether a belief or idea reflects a “fixed” or “growth” mindset.  For those not familiar with this lingo, when we have a fixed mindset, we are [...]

  • Recently, we encountered this three minute video essay by Daniel Pink that you should watch before reading the blog post that follows.  After watching this video essay, we had many thoughts, including, “Wow, this makes writing persuasive essay infinitely more interesting!” We imagined showing students this video and studying how Daniel Pink uses literary devices, [...]

  • Mr. Jones walked into the teacher’s workroom exasperated.  Throwing a stack of papers onto the table and speaking out loud to anybody who would listen, he said, “Can you believe this work?  These kids these days can’t write.” Sifting through the papers strewn about the table, another teacher chimed in, “I know exactly what you’re [...]