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Home » Blog » Literacy » How to Design Mini Lessons Using Digital Literacy Centers

How to Design Mini Lessons Using Digital Literacy Centers

Digital Learning, Literacy, Small Groups & Literacy Centers, Virtual Routines

Written by: Jess Dalrymple

Literacy centers are a fantastic way to keep our students practicing phonics, grammar, reading, and writing skills. They’re creative and FUN – and with all the awesome digital options, kids are engaged more than ever during center time! 

But, with so many classrooms going digital, some teachers are worried they’ll have to abandon their center-type resources and find a different way to offer daily skill practice.

Not true! 

We can still use our digital center activities – as independent assignments! Our students will still get the opportunity to practice phonics, grammar, reading, and writing in an engaging format. And teachers won’t have to find and create new ways to ensure students have ample independent practice.  

So, whether you are teaching online or in-person this year, read on for some examples of standards-based digital literacy center resources in action as independent weekly assignments!

In this post, we feature some of the digital centers included in our 2nd Grade Literacy Centers resource to show how digital center activities can be used effectively for independent practice. 

Reading Centers

Reading practice doesn’t always have to be in the form of logging the minutes kids spend reading…

You can assign digital reading center activities so students have the opportunity to practice specific reading standards! 

Check out how much fun it is for kids to practice identifying problem and solution with the “Swatting Flies” digital literacy center game ~ 

1- First, your students are presented with “fly” cards, each naming a problem.

2- Next, their task is to find the “fly swatter” card with the matching solution.

3- Last, students must type the problem and solution on a digital template. Also, students are asked to name examples of problems and solutions in the stories they’ve read.  *This is what students turn in digitally for feedback – and evidence that they’re understanding this reading standard!

Download "Swatting Flies" HERE

Phonics Centers

The “Slicing Fruit” digital game is perfect for practicing multisyllabic words with short vowels:

1- First, multiple fruit slices with short vowel syllables appear on the screen.

2- Next, students match two fruit slices together to create a real two-syllable word.

3- Last, students must record the word by typing it into a template *This is what students turn in digitally for feedback – and evidence that they are understanding this phonics standard!

4- This process is repeated until all the fruit slices are matched, and all the correct words are found!

Download "Slicing Fruit" HERE

Grammar Centers

Worksheets aren’t the only way to collect evidence that your students understand grammar standards. 

Let’s say you’re teaching the difference between common and proper nouns

A digital literacy center like “Common and Proper Noun Sandwiches” will do the trick!

1- First, the peanut butter half of sandwiches are displayed on the screen, each with a common noun. 

2- Next, students select a proper noun, presented on the jelly side of a sandwich half that would belong with the common noun. They drag the two sandwich halves together to make a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

3- Last, students record their answers by typing them into a digital template. *This is what students turn in digitally for feedback – and evidence that they are understanding this grammar standard!

Download "Noun Sandwiches" HERE

Writing Centers

Yes, you can even have your students practicing specific writing skills independently using digital center activities. 

One skill kids need plenty of extra practice with is writing an introduction

This is a task that can quickly become fun with a game like “Hook the Ocean Animals!”

1- First, students choose an ocean animal card with a title. 

2- Next, students will choose from hook cards, with a variety of ideas for “hooking” readers with a strong introduction.

3- Last, students use the idea to create an introduction sentence for the topic, and record the sentence on a digital template. *This is what students turn in digitally for feedback – and evidence that they are understanding this writing standard!

Download "Hook the Ocean Animals" HERE

You don’t have to abandon your digital center resources if you’re unable to offer traditional group-style centers in your classroom. 

Just use your digital centers in a new way, and your students will still benefit from the chance to experience high-engagement independent practice. 

Plus, you will find it’s an easy way to collect evidence that your students are meeting their ELA standards!

Here are some details about the 2nd Grade Literacy Centers resource, featured in this post. 

This resource includes over 140 standards-based literacy activities: 

  • 40+ Phonics Centers – printable and *digital
  • 40+ Grammar Centers – printable and *digital
  • 40+ Reading Centers – printable and *digital
  • 20+ Writing Centers – printable and *digital
  • 2nd grade Common Core aligned
  • Kid-friendly themes 
  • Full color or black & white pages
  • Direction signs for each center
  • Recording sheet and answer keys for each center

*The digital activities work with Google Slides and Seesaw!


  1. Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful resources! They helped me so much with organizing my lessons. Phonetic Centers especially impressed me. I used headphones for doing some exercises.

  2. Tami

    How are these digital centers pushed out to students? Can it be done on seesaw or does it need to be Google Classroom or another way?

  3. The Teacher Treasury

    Thank you so much for sharing these! Teaching in this digital setting can really be a difficult task to learn, but thanks to the activities you shared, I think teaching will be a piece of cake.


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