Oral Language: Giving & Understanding Directions

From Fountas & Pinnell’s Literacy Beginnings: A Pre-Kindergarten Handbook

The process of giving and understanding directions creates a “foundation for the advanced work students will do in school and in their lives.”  As teachers, we model this process through the explanation of classroom routines/procedures, and we quickly capitalize on the teachable moments that arise when students naturally use words to guide and organize their actions.  The goal of looking at oral language through various lenses is to place us in a position to move beyond the reactionary nature of “teachable moments” to planning for these moments.  “How to…” routines are a perfect way to allow students to explore this concept.  While our Kindergarten students are exposed to this process through Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study, they can also explore this concept through the use of manipulatives like creating (and/or following) a “blueprint” while working with blocks.  Creating recipes as a shared writing routine (and actually preparing them) is yet another authentic way to engage students in this process.

Leave a comment to share some ways you engage students in giving and understanding directions!


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