Saturday, July 30, 2011

Environmental Print

I remember reading a study somewhere that said that preschool kids were more likely to recognize environmental print (McDonalds and fast food chains particularly) than they were to recognize their own names! I learned this first hand when my niece (now 7) started shouting, "Yankees! Nike! Walmart!" whenever she was in the car with me or saw clothing someone was wearing. She was the type of kid who was more interested in playing with the flashcards my twin sister (also a teacher) gave her than the toys that she had, and by age 3 she was telling us the letters words were made of. I guess the important thing is that she recognized that words had a meaning and that they were made of letters.

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do with PreK, K, and 1st graders is to use digital cameras and paper on clipboards to document environmental print around the classroom, school, and outdoors. We search for letters and numbers and take pictures of them. Those who can write them do so. They don't just have to be on signs either. We sometimes notice that shadows, clouds, and plants can sometimes look like letters or numbers. We also go on Shape Searches where we look for and take pictures of objects that are different shapes. It's a great way to get students to become more aware of what's around them!

Check out this great free guide to environmental print activities by Shell Education.

Download this free Geometry Pack from Nicole Bunt to help with those Shape Searches.

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