- Learn to recognize and read different forms of environmental print in their community
- Chart paper and marker
- Glue or photograph adhesive
Step 1: Show children how to use a camera and then explain that they will take a walk to photograph the 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? Can they recognize certain signs by their shapes or by what is pictured on them? Record children's comments on chart paper.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Provide children with the pictures 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 (business signs, safety signs, public notices, and so on). Involve children in organizing the photographs, mounting them onto oaktag and writing about the signs. Children can also include the drawings and dictations that they created following their walk. Make copies of the book to include in the writing area, block area, and class library.
Invite small groups of children to the block area, asking them to use the blocks and props to make a block recreation of 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 pictures 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
- Learning Through Play: Blocks by Ellen Booth Church and Karen Miller
- Signs by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko