Your entire curriculum can be infused with language learning. Here are suggestions for materials, including appropriate signs, labels, books, and charts that you can add to your learning centers.

Dramatic Play

>> Magazines and books that children can read to each other and their "babies"

>> Recipe books and cards for reading and blank recipe cards for writing

>> Grocery store circulars and pads for making shopping lists

>> Phone books and phone message pads by the toy phones

>> Sticky notes for leaving messages for the family on the "fridge"

>> Prop boxes with reading, writing, and sign-making materials for literacy-rich play themes such as grocery store, pet store, restaurant, vet's office, and travel agency

Block

>> Traffic and building signs children can read and use with their block structures

>> Maps placed in a pocket chart in the center

>> Task cards made with photos of unusual buildings around the world are available for children to "read" and to inspire children's block structures

>> Chart paper so that children can "tell the story" of the building process

>> Large square graph paper for children to visually represent their buildings by graphing the blocks they have used

>> Crates holding books on building, paper, markers, and scissors so children can create signs, roads, and water for their buildings

Science and Math

>> Ready-made prediction/results charts and graphs for children to use in their experimentation

>> Clipboards with paper and markers for children to write about their experiences

>> Bulletin boards of children's math and science work (sorting, classifying, seriating, graphing) to read

>> Clear, labeled containers of objects (shells, nuts and bolts, acorns) to weigh, measure, or categorize

>> Signs asking children to weigh, measure or sort the objects

>> Signs informing children about what to do with science materials

Art

>> Paper strips and file cards for writing children's titles and dictations about their art

>> A bulletin board of children's art samples and writing

>> A collection of art books showing the work of great modern artists

>> Old greeting cards children can use to create and write their own cards

Media

>> Tape recorders and story tapes

>> An old typewriter children can use to "type out" their stories

>> A computer and printer for word processing and publishing children's writing (if possible)

>> Fun and simple literacy CD-ROMs

>> Instruments for singing along with song charts and tapes

Writing

>> Many different types of papers for children to use to write on and implements to write with

>> Alphabet cards and puzzles

>> An evolving word wall or picture/card dictionary created for the words children ask how to spell and write

>> Envelopes and writing paper for sending messages

>> Displays of children's writings

>> Mailboxes for each child

Outdoors

>> Small road maps in the wheel toy area

>> Tickets so children can take trips or their planes, boats, or trains

>> Clipboards and markers kept by new or popular pieces of equipment so children can sign up for their turn