A while ago an ESL teacher came to me with a question. She was trying to get her Kg ELLs to use environmental print. She had taken them on walks around the building and one, two, three, everybody would look at the sign and say, “B, buh, Boys’ Room.” Or, “E, Eh, Exit.” But when it came time for the kids to connect sounds to letters in their writing, they didn’t remember to use the letters they had learned about on their walks or in their classroom. It was all too new, too much at one time.
So we came up with the idea of logo books. Maybe the kids couldn’t remember that ‘B’ stood for ‘Boys.’ But they sure could remember ‘B, buh Burger King,’ as soon as they saw the logo. So my teacher friend collected logos A-Z. In small groups the kids picked out the ones they knew. As soon as a student could identify a letter and the corresponding sound, he cut that logo out and attached it to the correct page in a pre-made book. The kids used the books as tools during writing time.
A surprising thing happened with the logo books, or sound books, as I called them initially. The other kids in the class wanted in. They loved looking at their favorite characters or foods or stores. They couldn’t stop talking about the logos and the things the logos represented. So everybody was invited to make a book. Kids who knew sounds and letters wrote personal stories connected to the logos. The kids loved it and the Kg. teachers created a writing celebration around the books.
Here are some sample pages from each kind of book.