Literacy Skills – An Introduction

Literacy Skills are transferable skills that permeate cross-curricular lessons from kindergarten to post-secondary classrooms.

Students use these skills to process each text they encounter, be it a map, a math problem, a song, a blue print, a short story, a painting, or any number of other things.

Many students fail to recognize that they use the same skills to understand a tutorial for replacing a dishwasher as they do for identifying the author’s message in a short story.  By specifically naming the skills, students will realize the transferable nature of literacy skills and activate the same techniques when applying them.

The Ten Key Literacy Skills

The following literacy skills are those most often called upon in a classroom setting:

  1. Summarizing
  2. Determining Importance
  3. Inferring
  4. Predicting
  5. Connecting
    • Text to Self
    • Text to Text
    • Text to World
  6. Visualizing
  7. Comparing
  8. Questioning
    • Literal
    • Inferential
    • Evaluative
  9. Annotating
  10. Synthesizing

Stop and Think

Consider how you use three of those skills and how they are used in your classroom.

If you are not sure what the skills are, jot down an idea of what you think the skill means, and how you use it in your classroom.  Once you have a brief idea of how the skills work, and how they are presented in your classroom, feel free to delve a little deeper in Part 2.

PART 1: Literacy Skills – An Introduction

PART 2: Overview of the Ten Key Literacy Skills

PART 3: Lessons for Teaching Literacy Skills