Growing Readers: Sound Trains

growingreaderspngAt “Growing Readers” storytime, I lead a group storytime filled with literacy activities for the first half hour of the program. Afterwards, the kids go to activity tables staffed by teen volunteers to play and do more activities. Each storytime has five different activity tables. I spend my time floating around and talking to parents/caregivers about early literacy. Through the table activities (and my guidance), I hope that parents learn tips on how to work with their young readers and how literacy is so much more than just reading. The kids just see the activities as fun!

Table Activity: Sound Trains
Every Child Ready to Read Skill: Talking

This was a great activity set; with trains that had the beginning letters on them and cards to match up. Kids would pick a train and try and find the cards that matched up with their train. Again, purchased from Lakeshore Learning.


At this table, I saw a lot of one-on-one time with the teen volunteer staffing the station. She patiently helped the kids sound out their words and match up the letters. I cannot stress the importance of having teen volunteers that are trained and *like* children in a situation like this.

5 comments on “Growing Readers: Sound Trains

  1. Elizabeth
    February 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Are you still doing your Growing Readers program? I will be doing a weekly program similar to this one during summer reading program. I was wondering how you got started. I will be targeting children starting kindergarten through starting second grade. As you know there will be a HUGE variance in skill and ability. How did you decide which skills on which to focus? Did you poll your parents first? Did kids have to sign up prior to your sessions? Any info would be appreciated.

    • Katie
      February 11, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Yes, I am! We took a break during the winter since our program attendance goes down and the flu was so bad.

      I try to include a variety of skills. At least one reading/pre-reading skill, one writing/pre-writing skill, one movement activity, one art activity, etc. I mix it up every week and keep track of what kind of feedback I receive. I did not poll the parents first, but likely would not have gotten a huge response from them. In my community the topic of early literacy isn’t talked about like it should be.

      Kids do sign up prior to the sessions. I know what kind of a mix I will be getting. But since the end of the program is activity tables, kids are able to move at their own pace. Some kids spend the whole time doing one activity and really concentrating on it. Others bounce around. I always have a stack of books if older kids breeze through all five tables, then they have the option of reading. It works really well.

  2. Miss Courtney
    March 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Where did you find this game set? I’d love to have one for my son.


  1. Flannel Friday: Sorting Train | Falling Flannelboards - February 22, 2013

    […] this is a popular idea because shortly after I saw the app, Katie posted about sound trains in her Growing Readers […]

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