Building Literacy by Co-Creating With Your Students

As a society and educational community we often focus on the goals we want our students to accomplish, without giving enough thought to how we can help our students:

Desire to strive

When we can ignite that sense of curiosity within the mind of the learner, at any age, the stated goals are typically surpassed. So how can we do this? Specifically, how can we create a desire for any learner to dive into the world of literacy? Whether it is language centered, or literacy in some other area. The idea of “becoming literate” can apply and should apply to any area of life.

Here’s something to consider:


When any learner is invited to co-create their experience, they typically show much more interest and perform at a higher level.


How can we co-create with our students?


There are many ways to do this. When I visit classrooms to model strategies, the main concept I model is co-creating with the students. At a conceptual level I do this by:

  1. Creating authentic connections between myself and the students.
  2. I also see the student as a co-researcher, co-author of the experience.

The following authentic connection strategies help greatly in creating invitations for students to co-create content, concepts and processes:

  1. Asking for the student’s opinion on what changes to class “rules” would make learning more effective and fun

  2. Asking for the student’s opinion on how to modify class projects to make them more relevant

  3. Using some form of socratic seminar to increase the student’s ability to contribute to any discussion in critical and creative ways.


I have used the concepts behind socratic seminars with as young as 4 years olds and with all other age groups. The key is how you engage with the students. The length is typically shorter with younger children, but depending on the topic, you might be surprised!

Enjoy co-creating throughout 2018!