Celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8 with the Library of Congress! This year’s theme is “literacy in a digital world,” and the Library has a variety of programs and resources to support and celebrate literacy.
Read.gov features digitized classic books including:
- The Children’s Object Book – pictures of objects in and around homes a century ago might help students better understand life at that earlier time;
- Gobolinks – inkblots and short poems offer ideas for an art project that can also be a writing game;
- The Rocket Book – a rollicking tale with drawings that might prompt students to wonder about life in the early 20th century;
- The Jungle Book – a familiar story with beautiful illustrations that students might compare to one of the films based on the book; and,
- The Raven – haunting art by Gustave Doré interprets scenes from Poe’s narrative poem and might prompt students to create their own visual or performed interpretation.
Other highlights from Read.gov:
- Webcasts allow you to “… see and hear your favorite authors discuss their work and how they have used the Library of Congress’s extraordinary resources in their work.” Younger children might enjoy hearing from Jacqueline Woodson, Kate DiCamillo, Rafael López or others. Teens might begin with webcasts by Kwame Alexander, Sabaa Tahir, Sonia Manzano, or Gene Luen Yang, current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and then explore on their own.
- Contests include Letters about Literature, which invites students in grades 4-12 to “write a letter to a favorite author on how his or her book affected you.”
- The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped makes it possible for Americans living with visual impairment to enjoy a good book, magazine and even music scores.
- If you’re planning a visit to Washington, D.C. and the Library of Congress, consider stopping by the Young Readers Center, a space dedicated to young readers and their families.
Readers can also apply and practice literacy skills by “reading” visual images, and the Library has more than a million available online. Browse and explore for opportunities to think about point of view and the intent of the creator in a photograph. Visual images also offer opportunities to form and test hypotheses, inviting close observation and inspiring research and new learning. The Teacher’s Guide to Analyzing Photographs and Prints offers questions and activities to guide and deepen student thinking and analysis.
Let us know in the comments which Library of Congress resources you use to support and inspire your students’ literacy on International Literacy Day and all year!