How Can Environmental Print Be Taught?
Environmental Print and the Expanded Core Curriculum
Reading large print with or without optical aids, identifying and using a communication mode, using calendar systems.
Developing skills such as choice making for items, preparing snacks and meals, and organizing lists
Recreation and leisure:
Exploring and choosing preferred stores and restaurants.
Orientation & Mobility:
Navigating the store, locating items on the shelves
Sensory efficiency skills:
Using a monocular to locate aisles in the store, using a magnifier to read print logos, using augmentative communication devices.
Create Your Own Book of Environmental Print
Activities for the classroom:
- Fill your room with print in a natural setting. In the housekeeping center, bring in empty boxes of cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers etc. Encourage students to engage in pretend play. Identify the brand name of the food, and the type of the food. In the classroom, students can “shop” in the housekeeping center. Display a picture of the food ads on the wall or on an Invisiboard.
- At snack time or lunch time students can choose food from their original container. For example, let’s get a box of cereal. Which one do you want? After they become more familiar with and identify the labels, you can move to partial boxes. Cut off the front of the box and secure it to the wall or make a book. Students can look at the “menu board” to read the menu and choose their snack. As an extension activity, a smaller menu can be made. Students can flip through their menu book or read a menu page with labels on it (add picture). This skill can be generalized for reading the school menu throughout the school year.
- Shopping at the store: Students can make a grocery list by reading their food boxes or picture cards. Then for a field trip, take the picture list to the store and shop.
- Cooking activities: students can read the recipe and then prepare the food. Examples of easy to read recipes are making s’mores (using pictures of a marshmallow bag, graham crackers box and Hershey bar wrappers), rice krispie treats (rice cereal, marshmallow bag, butter wrapper), fruit smoothie (milk or yogurt, fruit), or individual pizzas (premade dough, pepperoni, and cheese).
- Writing: Use the book as an aid in writing activities and experience books. The logos can be used as story starters. For example: What did you eat at McDonald’s? Did you like it? Students can dictate their answers. Encourage them to scribble, write letters or type. This activity can be modified for a student with limited expressive language or expanded for a student with more words
- Home/Family ECC activity: Families can make a restaurant book with pictures of sign of restaurants. Students can choose their restaurant from looking at the pictures. When families go to the restaurant, they can compare the logos to match them. So although students with low vision may not be able to see the marquee signs, they can recognize the logos that are placed throughout the establishment.
- On the road: As you are driving with your child or riding with a student on the bus, you will most likely pass familiar places. Point them out to your learner. For example, “I see a large yellow ‘M’, that’s McDonalds, or I see a large red circles that’s Target. Find the logo in the book. As you go thru the store, look for the logo on items. Compare it to the logo in the book.