Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Literacy Centers: Getting Started

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Literacy Centers: Getting Started

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: five 30-minute sessions; thereafter: 30 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Vanessa Udry

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



From Theory to Practice



This lesson gives teachers resources and guidance to create Literacy Centers in their own classrooms. The lesson begins by describing the crucial teacher preparation steps for establishing four different centers: reading, listening, computer, and poetry. Implementation ideas, including suggestions for organizing and managing both centers and students, are included. Over a four-day period, the lesson then introduces students to each Literacy Center, providing the foundation for adaptable year-long literacy learning.

back to top



In her article "Literacy Centers in the Elementary Classroom," Betsy Van Deusen MacLeod describes the benefits of using Literacy Centers in the classroom as "providing both a physical and social context for learning." In their article describing the value of learning centers at the high school level, Moritz and Holmes note: "When students worked on individual and cooperative projects in the centers, they were engaged with the content at deeper, more meaningful levels. The learning centers contained multisensory and differentiated activities that helped meet the diverse range of student interests, ability levels, and needs." (69) Literacy Centers not only give the teacher an opportunity to meet with small groups for direct instruction, but they also provide meaningful learning activities for all students. Centers, combined with guided reading, offer the structure to deliver differentiated instruction, providing multiple opportunities for success for all students. Many teachers use Literacy Centers and comprehensive assessments to "drive their literacy instruction."

Further Reading

MacLeod, Betsy Van Deusen. "Literacy Centers in the Elementary Classroom." Journal of School Improvement. 2.1 (Spring 2001).


Movitz, Allison P. and Kerry P. Holmes. "Finding Center: How Learning Centers Evolved in a Secondary, Student-Centered Classroom." English Journal 96.3 (January, 2007): 68-73.

back to top