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In this article, we share real-world literacy activities that we designed and implemented in two early literacy classes for preschoolers from two inner-city neighborhoods that were part of an intergenerational family literacy program, Literacy for Life (LFL). The program was informed by research that shows that young children in high literate homes develop important emergent literacy knowledge by engaging in meaningful and functional activities in their homes and communities that are mediated by print. We defined real-world literacy activity as reading, writing, or listening to real-life texts for real-life purposes. The children made significant gains in literacy knowledge when compared to the norm group. We share examples of how we integrated real-world literacy activities into daily classroom management/organizational routines, whole class and small group instruction, celebrations and special events and how we took advantage of teachable moments to make explicit the purposes and functions of print and texts in developmentally appropriate ways.



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