A few weeks ago I shared with you some ideas to create a print rich environment in your class. One of the most important things is to include various types of print. Before you go on a sound hunt or print walk, take a look at your classroom. Do you include all of these types of print, or do you need to add print before sending students on a print walk?
Varied types for your print rich classroom
Think about four types of print to keep things varied and engage students in different ways:
- Environmental print
- Occupational print
- Informational print
- Recreational print
How do you include that in your print rich classroom?
Environmental print could include schedules, messages on the display board, and classroom charts, like job charts, weather charts or alphabet charts.
Occupational print is related to a job or profession. In the classroom, that might look like text in the play shop or post office, charts of class rules and responsibilities, catalogs, order forms, or instructions.
Informational print could include calendars and planners, word banks and word walls, and posters that provide information.
Recreation print includes any leisure activities. So your reading corner fits this category! Recreational print would also include songs or poems, magazines and newspapers, and words used in word games.
You can find posters, word wall cards, and more to help set up your print rich classroom in the Top Notch Teaching Literacy Club. Tons of done for you bundles make creating a print rich environment easy.
If you have a variety of print types in your print rich classroom, you’re ready for a print walk!
Create your print walk
Print walks involve students reading print around the room. Print walks are very adaptable. You could do a different walk each day with a different focus or task!
First, choose the focus of your print walk. What reading, writing, speaking or listening skill do you want to practice? Here are some examples:
- Letter sound relationships
- Phonemic awareness
- Word recognition
- Conventions of print
- Whole text features.
Then set your task. This could be as simple as finding words that start with a certain sound, but again there are lots of possible print walk tasks. Here are four print walk tasks to try:
Provide each student with a paper bag and some pieces of paper. Have your students go around the room and find items that start with a particular sound. Students write each word on a piece of paper and add it to their bag. If your students aren’t writing yet, they can collect the sound hunt items themselves or draw a picture on the paper and add it to the bag.
Or walk around the room or the school as a class to find certain sounds. In addition to initial sounds, you can try sound hunt print walks with the vowels in CVC words too, for example, you could look for /a/ sounds like m-a-p or h-a-t.
You may have had students do word sorts on paper using a word bank. You can also use word sorts as a print walk task. Students practice identifying and categorizing words according to a selected criteria. Some ideas for word sorts include:
- beginning letter sorts
- number of letter sorts
- number of syllable sorts
- sound sorts
- different spellings for the same sound (like ai, a-e, ay, and ea for /ae/)
- parts of speech (noun, adjective, etc.)
Get some free word sort printables to get you started:
You can use the worksheets with the words in the wordbank and then challenge students to find more words to fit each criterion on their print walk.
Trip to the moon
There are a lot of games you can play on a print walk: I Spy, Bingo, Tic Tac Toe … and Trip to the Moon. Begin by saying to your students, “We’re going on a trip to the moon. You can come if you bring something …” Then provide a criterion. For example: You can come if you bring something that
- rhymes with man
- starts with the sound /s/
- has 3 syllables
- has a /oo/ sound
Students then move around the room and write down words they find that fit the criteria.
Try this with charts you have in the room, such as a welcome message, song or rhyme, calendar, job chart, or any other charts or signs. Delete some of the words on the chart(s) you are using. Then write the deleted words on small cards or sticky notes. Have students put the card or sticky note in the correct place to fill in the gaps.
Print walks are endlessly adaptable. You can use many paper and pencil activities as prompts to have students use the room as a giant word bank. Need more word sorts or other activities to use on print walks? Whether you are working with CVC words, digraphs, or alternate spellings, you’ll find games and other activities you can use for print walks and more.
Become a member of the Literacy Club and start downloading and printing everything you need!