The first thing kids usually “read” are words they find on items around us (logos, signs, boxes, etc.). We call this “environmental print.” Today I am going to share with you a great way to use common words found in our environment to strengthen literacy skills. Using environmental print in the classroom can be beneficial and fun!
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How to Use Environmental Print in the Classroom
Is it just my students or do almost ALL kids recognize the famous golden arches and immediately shout, “McDonald’s!” When a child can recognize a sign or logo and “read” the words, they get so excited.
Bringing environmental print into the classroom can build up a student’s confidence and increase their feeling of “I’m a reader!”
It also gives meaning to letters, symbols, and words and how they relate to everyday experiences.
Check out my favorite way to use environmental print in the classroom!
Gather the Print
Incorporating environmental print into our day doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. I like to sometimes add this simple activity into our morning Circle Time routine. It’s quick, easy, and instantly has my students engaged and excited to learn!
I start by having my students bring in anything they can “read” from their own house. This may include cereal boxes, magazine cutouts, food labels, etc.
For my part, I like to print out common signs and pictures of things the kids may see in the community including grocery signs, restaurant signs, etc.
Time to Read!
For this activity, I have pocket chart labels that say, “I can read _____.” and “Do you like _____?” You can grab a free set of the labels I use at the bottom of the post!
Once we have collected our favorite examples of environmental print I add them to the pocket chart with the labels.
RELATED RESOURCE: Pocket Chart Activities and Centers BUNDLE for Pre-K & Kindergarten
When our words and signs are clearly displayed in the pocket chart I point to an item and we say together, “I can read _____ (read item).” and “Do you like _____ (read item)?”
You will love seeing your students’ faces light up and their confidence grow as they “read” aloud the words found in their environment!
Grab Your FREE Pocket Chart Labels
Ready to add some environmental print reading fun to your lessons? Grab a free copy of the pocket chart labels that I use by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post!
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