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Classroom environments are rich in language experiences and with the arts, fostering literacy development. Ways to support a rich expressive environment include reading and reenacting stories and poems, singing songs, listening to music, creating and looking at artworks displayed and labeling objects in the classroom.

Note that “Reading” environmental print is an important step in understanding that words have meaning. Children proudly recognize familiar icons or symbols in their environment, such as a red hexagon “STOP” sign or the “Golden Arches” of McDonalds.

So, children “READ” the symbol (shape) before they read the words.

Can you name other examples that children are familiar with?

So, printed letters are also symbols, symbols of sounds and spoken words. Thus, combinations of symbols form words and print begins to have meaning. 

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