In one of my earlier posts “Read the Playroom“, I briefly mentioned the suggestion of posting “environmental print” in the playroom. Environmental print is simply “print that we see in our everyday environment” such as signs, banners, billboards, logos, etc.
Today, I have a simple activity, but it may take a bit of time to collect.
You are going to cut out the front of cereal boxes, snack boxes, and restaurant boxes/bags such as donut box tops or burger king bags. And you are going to combine them all to make a book for your child’s reading corner. If you dont have a reading corner, book display, bookshelf, or something like it. PLEASE consider establishing a designated area for reading. Make it cozy with bean bags, pillows, a little lamp, etc. You want this area to be one that your little one frequents.
I am posting the picture of my assembled book, but I was a teacher who “bound” the book at school. You can 3-whole punch it and use binder rings, stick it in a 3-ring folder or binder, put them in sheet protectors, or anything you can think of that align with the resources available to you.
Please e-mail me pictures of your completed work so I can post ideas for other moms and dads on the visitor share page 🙂
Remember, as mentioned in an earlier reading post, this doesn’t mean your child can read necessarily, but it is a great way to attach meaning to print, to reinforce that reading can be linked with picture clues, and to provide the repetition to introduce new reading skills such as phonemic awareness which I will address in detail later.
And remember that each time you cut out a new print to save it is an opportunity to teach about it….to talk about what it says, the letters in the word(s), the way that you can identify it, etc. Have fun!
Let’s do some more letter activities because the alphabet is a great way to introduce concepts of print in a systematic way.
Being able to read the alphabet aloud with a pointer, pointing to the correct letter and not zooming ahead or falling behind is a great milestone that represents your child’s understanding that print communicates something.
First, write out the alphabet in large letters / use the alphabet sentence strip poster you made for the post “Read the Playroom.” Lay it out on the floor.
Then, I want you to search around your house and find some alphabet pieces that your child can manipulate –like the foam ABC set for the bath, or the magnetic set you can buy at the dollar store, or puzzle pieces, whatever you have. And I want you to lay them all out on the floor in no particular order. Then I want you to tell your child that you want to put them in the order that we read them when we sing the ABC’s. In order to do this you are going to match the manipulative letter to the written letter. Each time you pick a letter….talk about it. Do you know this letter? Where is its place in the alphabet, the beginning, middle, or end? What letter does it come after/before?
If your child isn’t sure…sing the ABC song until you get to that letter; your little one will most likely act super excited that he/she “found it.”
If you want to accommodate to make the matching skill more difficult….draw the lower case of the alphabet and match the upper case to it.
One thing that I have in my playroom at home is a poster of the alphabet in two places on the wall. This may seem like a teacher-thing to do, but I recommend posting an alphabet on your child’s eye level.
Fluency is KEY in literacy throughout every stage of proficiency. When children “read” things, it means that they realize print carries a meaning. So if you pass the Burger King sign and your child says “I know what that says….it says Burgers” you can encourage them that they are so smart and they are learning to read words. All of their understandings, like the example given, are preceding their literacy foundations.
Today’s activity is one that will hopefully be posted on the wall, right in your little one’s view, to read and practice as often as they choose to do so.
Materials you will need (you may need to shop/order online; each of these are on my homepage under “fav. things”):
-sentence strips (these are long strips of cardstock material…but you can also cut a posterboard into strips)
-marvelous tape (tape that doesn’t peel off paint when you put it on your wall)
-pointer (a cutesy one online or even a fly swatter lying around your house)
Write the Alphabet twice (one set uppercase, another set lowercase) onto sentence strips in a pen. Let your little one trace over the letters using a highlighter. Tape them at eye level in your little one’s bedroom or playroom. Encourage your little one to use a pointer of some kind to “read the room.”
Each day you think of something new, or your child reads something (like the word Cheerios on the box) add one new thing to read around the room. Cut out “environmental print” such as the Cheerios box top, the fruit by the foot box cover, etc. and post them in the playroom at eye level. Have a blast!
I shared in my post “Why Rhyme?” that rhyming is a tier on the reading ladder because it gives children an awareness of sounds in words – words that sound the same versus words that sound different.
After you start working with them on distinguishing whether words rhyme or not (a listening activity), you will want to help your child listen to a string of rhymes and come up with a new rhyming word that would continue with the same ending sound. For example, “What is a word that would rhyme with cat, mat, and hat?” This is a great way for your little one to put into practice their rhyming skills.
But before we do that, I am including an activity that is going to introduce this concept without the “coming up with a new rhyming word” part. Today, your little one is going to practice the first level skill by identifying which word in the group of rhyming words does not belong. So your little one will determine if the which words rhymes with the other words (and which one doesn’t). For example, “Cat, Mat, Sat, shoe?” Which word doesn’t sound the same at the end of the word? ________ (shoe)
I wanted to post another activity for rhyme identification so that you can help your little student master the skill before moving on to a more challenging rhyming activity.
If you have had a chance to do any of the activities with your child, or if you plan on it, please TAKE PICTURES 🙂
With your consent, I would love to post some pictures of you and your child working on an activity, or a modification of the activity, on my visitors share page.