My Literacy Journey

Implications for Teaching: Reading Our Neighborhood and Our Friends

Posted on: May 4, 2010

As I have experienced and explored this semester, I have come to be so much more cognizant of the world around me.  As a primary teacher next year, I really think it is important for my students to read the world around them.  In addition to reading the world around them, I also think as an activity to build community in the classroom, I would have students “read” each other.

Reading the Neighborhood Might Go Something Like This:

!) Kids and I have a discussion prior about what reading the world means.

2) Discuss things that are of concern to them, things they like, don’t like etc.

3)Kids and I come up with a guide/questionairre to help guide them through reading the world

4) Kids go out and “read the world”

5) As a whole group we come back together to discuss our findings/readings.

6) Discuss what it is we might like to do with these readings/why they are important/what they mean.

Similar to the activity on reading our neighborhood, I would set up reading our classmates.  I would ask students to come up with a list of questions they would like to know about each other and also talk about their assumptions/what they thought before.  I would explain and help them discuss that this is a way to find out things about each other we didn’t know or thought differently about and connect to this to how literacy affects us in every part of our lives.

This is only a brief synopsis of what I could do with these findings.  I could see this being part of the critical literacy framework for the entire school year :).


1 Response to "Implications for Teaching: Reading Our Neighborhood and Our Friends"

Hmmmm….I’m trying to get a clearer sense of what this could look like for first graders but am having trouble picturing it. There are so many things to read in the neighborhood. You might consider asking them to read the neighborhood to find out what people in the neighborhood care about, or what they want to change. You could also take a shared reading walk around the neighborhood, and find out what’s in in their neighborhood and what’s missing. Keep working on this!

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  • Marjorie Siegel: This can be the greatest lesson of all to take into your career as a teacher!
  • Marjorie Siegel: This is such a powerful way to make critical literacy work meaningful in local settings and to focus on deconstruction, reconstruction, and social act
  • Marjorie Siegel: Another book that offers an excellent guild to critical literacy in a primary grade classroom is Vivian Vasquez's exploration of her own teaching with



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