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The purpose of this lesson is to have students analyze different signs that they see in their everyday lives to gain an understanding of what they mean. Signs and symbols are very common in real life, and it is important to understand the meaning behind them. In this lesson, the teacher will have students find examples of different signs that they see in their everyday lives, drawing what they look like and giving a description of what they mean.
While teaching this lesson, the teacher will be providing their students with examples of different signs that they may encounter in their everyday lives. Some examples are common street signs, neon lights, and billboards. The teacher will provide these students with illustrations of these examples, let them think about it, and then hold a full class discussion about the illustration. During this discussion, the teacher should ask their students to describe the sign in full detail (what it looks like, what colors, any words/pictures on it), predict what it may mean and predict where they may encounter it outside of school. The lesson in itself will introduce them to the actual assignment, as the activity is to be done on their own time. The lesson will take no longer than 10-15 minutes, depending on how many examples the teacher provides to the students, but the time that the activity will take will vary from student to student, as some students may put more effort into it than others.

Step 1: Signs and Symbols Visual Activity: Materials Needed

The list of materials for this activity consist of the following: 

• Colored utensils
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Glue/staples/tape
• A computer and printer (if you print out digital images of signs)
• Camera (if you take pictures of signs)
• Your creativity!

Step 2: Signs and Symbols Visual Activity: Step-by-step Process

The visual activity that the students will be doing involves documenting, describing and illustrating different signs that they see in the real world. Students will be asked to take pictures of these signs, or re-create them (by means of sketching or drawing) and present them in a way that is visually appealing (e.g. collage). They are also allowed to cut out pictures of signs from magazines as examples, but they must describe the meaning behind the sign as well. The lesson will take no longer than 10-15 minutes, depending on how many examples the teacher provides to the students, but the time that the activity will take will vary from student to student, as some students may put more effort into it than others.

The step-by-step process for completing the activity is as follows:
1. Brainstorm different ideas of signs that you want to include in your project
2. Gather images of signs by means of taking pictures, cutting them out from magazines or drawing them
3. Write a brief, 1-2 sentence description of what each sign means and where you may see it in real life
4. Present your descriptions and images to the class in a thoughtful, creative way.

Step 3: Signs and Symbols Visual Activity: Images of Step-by-step Process and Final Product

Step 1: Obtain images for final product (Images 1, 2 & 3)

Step 2: Write descriptions for selected images/symbols (Image 4)

In order to be deemed complete, the explanation of each image/symbol must include a description of it (what it is, where it came from), what it means and where one may be able to encounter it in real life.

Step 3: Put together final product! (Image 5)

Step 4: Assessment (Image 6). The Image is a rubric that teachers can use to assess their students final products. This rubric pertains to this specific activity.


Integrated Lesson Plan: Signs and Symbols

Content Standards
Core Content Standard: Kindergarten-English
• EL.K.1.21 2006. Identify common signs and symbols

Visual Art Standard
• VA.K.6 2008 - CREATING ART: Studio Production: Develop a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas for artwork and utilize skills of critique, reflection, and revision
o Students create artwork using subject matter from the real world and personal symbols to express ideas.

Learning Objectives
1. Students will take pictures of different signs or re-create signs that they see in their everyday life
2. Students will provide explanations for each sign, interpreting the meaning of each
3. Students will present their findings in a thoughtful, creative way (e.g. collage)
4. Students will understand the meaning behind signs, even though some of them may not have words.

Description of Core Content Lesson
The purpose of this lesson is to have students analyze different signs that they see in their everyday lives to gain an understanding of what they mean. Signs and symbols are very common in real life, and it is important to understand the meaning behind them. In this lesson, I will have students find examples of different signs that they see in their everyday lives, drawing what they look like and giving a description of what they mean.
While teaching this lesson, I will be providing my students with examples of different signs that they may encounter in their everyday lives. Some examples are common street signs, neon lights, and billboards. I will provide these students with illustrations of these examples, let them think about it, and then hold a full class discussion about the illustration. During this discussion, I will ask my students to describe the sign in full detail (what it looks like, what colors, any words/pictures on it), predict what it may mean and predict where they may encounter it outside of school. The lesson in itself will introduce them to the actual assignment, as the activity is to be done on their own time. The lesson will take no longer than 10-15 minutes, depending on how many examples the teacher provides to the students, but the time that the activity will take will vary from student to student, as some students may put more effort into it than others.

Description of Visual Activity
The visual activity that the students will be doing involves documenting, describing and illustrating different signs that they see in the real world. Students will be asked to take pictures of these signs, or re-create them (by means of sketching or drawing) and present them in a way that is visually appealing (e.g. collage). They are also allowed to cut out pictures of signs from magazines as examples, but they must describe the meaning behind the sign as well. The lesson will take no longer than 10-15 minutes, depending on how many examples the teacher provides to the students, but the time that the activity will take will vary from student to student, as some students may put more effort into it than others.

List of Materials
• Colored utensils
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Glue/staples/tape
• A computer and printer (if you print out digital images of signs)
• Camera (if you take pictures of signs)
• Your creativity!

The Process of the Activity
1. Brainstorm different ideas of signs that you want to include in your project
2. Gather images of signs by means of taking pictures, cutting them out from magazines or drawing them
3. Write a brief, 1-2 sentence description of what each sign means and where you may see it in real life
4. Present your descriptions and images to the class in a thoughtful, creative way.

Integration Rationale
This specific activity connects to the core content very well. The core content of both the lesson and the activity focuses on teaching students to identify common signs and symbols in their everyday lives. The visual activity reinforces the ideas and concepts that are introduced during the lesson. In addition to this, the activity also serves as a way for students to express their understanding of the concepts that are taught in the lesson in a creative way. Since this activity allows students to express their creativity in a unique way, the students will become more engaged with the core content standards and learning objectives as they will be completing the activity on their own time.
In addition to meeting the objectives of the lesson, there are also a few additional benefits that are associated with completing this activity. Students will be learning ideas such as craftsmanship while creating their poster, as well as neatness while putting their items together in a unique way.







Step 4: Signs and Symbols Visual Activity: Tips & Tricks

For teachers who are thinking about using this activity and lesson in their classrooms, here are some things to keep in mind:
1) SInce you are dealing with such young students, they may not be able to form cohesive sentences. Instead, as long as they are able to describe their image to the classroom in full, they have demonstrated a very good understanding of the content standard. However, the teacher should still mark that down on the rubric.
2) Let the students figure it out for themselves. The purpose of the activity is to have children explore their surroundings to find different examples of signs/symbols that are prevalent in the real world. The teacher should provide as little support as possible, and let them explore themselves.
3) Do not judge students on their artistic ability! As long as they can accurately reproduce a sign/symbol and talk about it, that is good enough. However, it should somewhat resemble the real sign/symbol that they are reproducing.

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