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Home Classroom Resources Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Stop Signs, McDonald's, and Cheerios: Writing With Environmental Print

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Maureen Gerard

Maureen Gerard

Phoenix, Arizona

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Overview

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

One of the earliest stages of literacy development is reading and writing print from the world around us. Street signs, cereal boxes, and billboards all provide opportunities for emerging readers to interact with words. In this lesson, students read words found on everyday objects and use them to identify individual letters. They then create captions for an electronic book with preselected logos and illustrations. Finally, they create an original little book choosing their own logos, captions, and images.

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Prior, J., & Gerard, M.R. (2004). Environmental print in the classroom: Meaningful connections for learning to read. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • High-impact environmental print symbols are the first exposure young children have to the code system of written symbols.

  • Research indicates that children must construct a "cognitive anchor" for mapping sounds onto written code symbols. Environmental print can be this anchor.

  • Adult instruction is the key element to effectively using environmental print to teach beginning reading skills. When an adult draws attention to the letters and sounds in environmental print words, children are more likely to transfer this knowledge to decontextualized print (text without graphics).

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