camera and film
chart paper and marker
glue or photograph adhesive
learn to recognize and read different forms of environmental print in
Block Building: Signs and Buildings.
- 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.
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
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
(Scholastic Inc.; $10.95)
by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.25)