Reading Our Neighborhood
Children will enjoy this “reading ‘round the neighborhood” activity.
- Grades: PreK–K
camera and film
chart paper and marker
glue or photograph adhesive
Objective: Children will learn to recognize and read different forms of environmental print in their community.
- Show children how to use the camera prior and explain that they will take a walk to photograph different types of signs that are found in their neighborhood. Ask them to think of different places where they see signs or words when they are coming to school. Are there any signs that they are able to read all by themselves? Record children's comments on chart paper.
- Discuss safety rules before leaving on the walk. During the walk, take time to stop and discuss the different types of signs that appear in the community, such as safety signs, traffic signs, business signs, or notices about events. Encourage children to identify signs that they already know. Point out the different types of lettering, lighting, or pictures that are used to make signs.
- Follow-up the walking activity with a group discussion. What new things did they learn about during their neighborhood walk? Children can also draw and write about their trip.
- Provide children with the photographs that were taken during their walk. Explain to children that they will make a book about their neighborhood signs. Invite children to sort the pictures into categories (safety signs, public notices, business signs, and so on). Involve children in organizing the photographs, mounting them onto oak tag and writing about the signs. Children can also include the drawings and dictations that they created following their walk. Make photocopies of the book to include in the writing area, block area, and class library.
Block Building: Signs and Buildings. Invite small groups of children to the block area, asking them to use the blocks and props to make their neighborhood. Provide children with paper, drawing materials, rubber stamps, and tape and ask children to use the art and writing materials to make signs for their block neighborhood. Children can describe their finished work to their classmates. Take photographs of each group's block building to create another class book or display to document their learning experiences with environmental print.
I Read Signs* by Tana Hoban
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.95)
Learning Through Play: Blocks
A Practical Guide for Teaching Children* by Ellen Booth Church and Karen Miller
(Scholastic Inc.; $10.95)
Signs* by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.25)