Ready-to-Use Teaching Ideas: Social Skills
• Camera and film
• Clipboards, paper, and a pencil on a string
• Chart paper, drawing paper, sentence strip paper
• Markers, crayons, and pencils
• Glue sticks
• Index cards
Objective: Children will identify environmental print to develop literacy skills and an understanding of their neighborhoods.
- Tell the class that they will engage in a study to learn about the words that are in their neighborhood, such as the names of stores and street signs. Ask them if they can think of some of the words or signs that they already know and list them on a sheet of chart paper.
- Plan a neighborhood walk with the class to identify and document the words found in the surrounding area. Give a few children clipboards so they can record the words they find. Show the class how to use a camera so that they can use photographs to document their study. Designate an area of classroom wall space to create a visual documentation of their study.
- Engage the group in a discussion about what they noticed during their walk. How are words used? What types of information do we learn from the different words or signs? What would our lives be like without these words?
- Ask children to write the words they found on index cards. Review the words with them and ask them to work together to group the cards by categories like names of stores or businesses, street signs, traffic signs, and so on. Invite children to organize their words on the wall space.
- Provide the group with art materials and invite them to create drawings or paintings that relate to the words they found. Ask them share their work at meeting time and then include them in the classroom display.
Invite the group to think of how they would like to include the photographs in their display. Place photocopies of the photographs in the block building and writing areas so that children can incorporate the words and images into their play.
Curriculum Connection: Block Building
Make a Neighborhood. Divide the classroom into small groups and have them work together in the block area to create a neighborhood. Provide them with writing materials and tape so that they can include signs and words in their construction. Invite each group to share their finished work with the class. Photograph each construction and invite the children to write about their work. Include the photographs and writings in the classroom neighborhood word display.
I Read Signs
by Tana Hoban
Road Signs: A Hare-y Race With a Tortoise
by Margery Cuyler
(Winslow, 2000; $15.95)
Walter the Baker
by Eric Carle
(Aladdin, 1998; $6.99)