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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.

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Activity

Take a Closer Look: Write Around the Room

 

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Take a Closer Look: Write Around the Room

Grades K – 2
Activity Time 20 minutes
Activity Author

Amy Mascott

Amy Mascott

DC Metro, Maryland

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

  • Paper/Notebook/Journal
  • Clipboard
  • Pen/pencil/marker
  • A room full of environmental print

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Here's What To Do

  1. Choose any room your house (preferably one with a lot of environmental print).  For example, in the living room you may find board games, toy boxes, books, posters, or magazines with environmental print to use, or in the kitchen, perhaps environmental print can be found on a calendar, messages on a cork board, or boxes of crackers, pasta, or snacks.
  2. Give the child a clipboard, a blank piece of paper, and a pen, marker, or pencil.
  3. Walk around the room with him/ her, pointing out the words, letters, and numbers on anything and everything—games, books, newspapers, boxes, toys.
  4. Have the child skim the room to find a word and write it down on her/his paper.  Encourage him/her to observe the room and pay close attention to the letters and do her/his best to write the same letters on the paper.
  5. Give the child a number to work toward (perhaps the same number as his/her age) and challenge her/him to find that number of words in the room to write on his paper. For example, if the child is six years old, he/she would need to find six words.
  6. When the child is finished, read the words together. Talk about the words he/she wrote, defining new or difficult words and trying to find connections among the words: Are all of the words from titles of books? Are they names, or do they show what room you were in? Do the any of the words begin with the same letter? Do any of the words begin with the same sound? Which words rhyme? Which word is the longest, and which is the shortest?
  7. Work together to create a simple sentence or short story using some (or all) of the words that the child wrote down.  Encourage the child to stretch her/his imagination and have fun with it!

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More Ideas To Try

  • Have the child choose a room to find words, and the adult can guess, by reading the words on the paper, which room he/she was in.
  • Allow children to work together writing all of the words in a room by being "in charge" of certain areas of the room.
  • Use the Alphabet Organizer to organize the "found" words and put them in alphabetical order.
  • Send a postcard to a friend, using the Postcard Creator and making sure to include as many of the words "found" in the room as possible.
  • Create a word search for the child to solve using the words he/she found during the activity.
  • Choose another location to complete this activity!  Ideas include the school, library, grocery store, or on a road trip!

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Glossary

Observe

 

When children and teens observe, they may be following a formal process with a checklist of things to look for, or they may be exploring such a new experience that they can ask questions only after observing. Either way, observing should involve children and teens in the process of watching something closely, asking questions, and discussing what they have seen.

Skim

 

To read quickly and selectively, usually looking for certain information.

Environmental Print

 

Text that is found anywhere and everywhere in the environment.

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