Resource 4: Preparing for a community walk – during which pupils will notice environmental print

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Step 1

If your class is very large, you could ask some adults from the community to help you in walking with groups of pupils. If you do this, meet with these adults before the walk to explain what you would like them to do. They should know what questions you will be asking pupils and what examples of environmental print you want pupils to notice. They may also have some suggestions to give you.

Step 2

Plan the activity by walking through the area around your school. For some of you this may be a village, for others part of a busy city. (Note: If your school is in a very isolated place, you may need to work with community members to arrange transport for pupils to a place where they can see a range of environmental print.) Notice every example of environmental print you can draw pupils’ attention to and plan a route for you and the pupils to walk. The kinds of print and visual images will, of course, vary greatly from one neighbourhood to another but may include names (e.g. school, clinic, mosque, church, community hall, shop, river, street); signs (e.g. a STOP sign); advertisements on billboards or the walls of shops; community notices (e.g. election posters or notices about meetings or social or sports events).

Step 3

Prepare a list of questions for pupils to answer. These could include:

  • What does this sign or name tell us?
  • Why do you think it has been placed here?
  • What language is it written in?
  • Why do you think it has been written in this language?
  • What information do you get from the drawings or photographs that you see?
  • Which signs are easy to read? Why?
  • Which signs do you like? Why?
  • How could you improve some of the signs?
  • What other names, signs, advertisements, posters, notices would you like to have in this neighbourhood? Why would you like to have these?

Resource 3: Example questions to ask about a grocery item