Signs, signs, everywhere are signs.
Many of them are stuck—not going anywhere—so let's use them for our early readers. Surprisingly, though we follow signs while we're driving and see them multiple times a day, often we don't think to use them with our children.
Let's use road signs to talk about rhyme. Signs at school to talk about beginning and ending sounds. Street signs, construction signs, signs at the doctor's office. Any sign—anywhere—is worth pointing out to our children because it emphasizes to them the importance of reading: Reading is everywhere, all the time.
We read to learn. We read to understand. We read to stay safe and share messages—in the community and everywhere.
Here are a few totally easy ways to use signs for fun, easy, on-the-fly early literacy learning:
- Say the same thing every time you drive by a particular sign on the way to school: "B-U-M-P, BUMP!" Or "S-T-O-P, stop, stop, STOP!"
- Talk about words that rhyme with the word on the sign.
- Challenge your children to think of five words that rhyme with the word on the sign.
- Talk about beginning or ending sounds and other words that begin (or end) with the same sounds as the word on the sign.
- Draw the sign at home and let your child decorate it the way he or she wishes it could look.
- Talk about the reasons the sign has to be simple and bold and not fancy and full of details.
- Talk about the letters you see on the sign.
- Discuss the shapes you see on or around the sign.
- Play detective and have your child search for "hidden words" inside the words on the sign ("bum" in "bump" / "park" in "parking")
Before you know it, your children will "own" the signs that you see regularly in and around your neighborhood—and he or she should! After all, it's your child's neighborhood, your child's street, your child's world.
Let's make them your child's signs, too!
Read all posts by Amy Mascott.
Do you use signs to help support your child's early literacy learning? Tell us about it. Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on twitter, @teachmama, and let's continue the conversation!