Saturday, January 31, 2015

How to Introduce Reading to Preschoolers Using Environmental Print

     Young children see print EVERYWHERE.  Spark their interest in reading by showing them their favorite cereal box and ask them to tell you what it is in the box.  They can tell you it's Cheerios or Fruit Loops.  Or show them the logo for McDonald's, Busch Gardens, Chuckee Cheese, or Wendys and ask them where you are taking them.  They know the answer and those logos and symbols are called environmental print.

     When I taught first grade I displayed environmental print in my classroom during the first weeks of school.  I hung pictures of road signs (stop, etc..) restaurants, cereal boxes, candy wrappers, grocery items, etc... so the students were surrounded with print that they saw every day at home and around town.

     When a student told me they couldn't read I pointed to some of the things in the room and asked them what they saw.  When they told me what they were I told them they were reading.  This gave them  the confidence they needed to try and they knew I believed in them.

     When my sons were preschoolers I took pictures of them at Wendys, McDonalds, at Ocean Breeze and the Norfolk Zoo.  I printed the pictures and put them in mini photo albums I purchased from the dollar store and created little books for them and read them to them over and over again.  This was a springboard to begin reading.  Young children love reading about themselves and it hooks them right away.  

Read the directions below to create your own mini books to share with your students or your own children. 

1.  You can use pictures you have or take pictures of your children at different places or simply                download pictures of places your children like to go from the internet.

2.  Place the picture on the left side of the photo book.

3.  You can type the words and glue them on an index card or write on the index card and place the          card on the right side of the photo book.

I wrote patterned books like the ones listed below.  Use these as a guide to begin.

Mitchell likes McDonalds.
Mitchell likes Wendys.
Mitchell likes the beach.
Mitchell likes the zoo.
Mitchell likes Ocean Breeze.
Mitchell likes home the most.

Matthew wants to go to....
Matthew is at ........

You can also put family member's picture in the books (on the left side) and then write their names on the right side.
Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, sibling's names, pet's names.

If you make it personal to them it will grab their interest and start them on the path to love reading.
If you have any questions just ask,

Thanks for reading!



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