Oh, The Places They’ll Go! Using Favorite Places to Engage Your Students in Reading

This school year, I really wanted to do everything possible to create a literacy rich environment for my students. I’ve been using tons of online resources, TPT resources, and have even gone old school with some books that discuss how to help my students understand reading. A new book I just recently purchased, How Do I Teach This Kid to Read?: Teaching Literacy Skills to Young Children with Autism, from Phonics to Fluency written by Kimberly Henry, is quickly becoming one of my FAVORITE resources!

One section of this book discusses using Environmental Print to create books for non-readers. For example, students will be able to identify the golden arches as “McDonalds” before they will be able to actually read the word “McDonald’s.” This gave me the idea to create books for my students with pictures of things or places they are familiar with.

These are SUPER cute and so easy to make with the help of google images. To prep, just write a letter home to parents asking for about 10 of their child’s favorite places to go – i.e. Target, Starbucks, park, pool, etc. If it is a personal place you might not be able to get online, just ask them to snap a picture to send you (e-mails and texting make this so quick and easy).

If you want to use the template I made, just click to download below. There are even some images already completed for you! Who doesn’t LOVE Target and Starbucks? I’m sure these pages will already work for some of your kiddos. If you want to use the same fonts I used, go to Dafont and download Doctor Soos for the title and KG fonts – Neatly printed for the rest of the text in the book.

I decided to go with the theme of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go! for the book covers and you could even read the book to your students before creating their own books. To make the books more personal for the students, you could have them create the books on their own using pictures and stamps to spell out the words of each place (unless your kiddos can write). I know right now Target has already made blank books in their dollar spot.

I am loving how these turned out! I prepped two copies for each student. One to keep at home and one to go home for parents to “read” with them. I love incorporating more literacy activities into our day!


  1. Anonymous on May 1, 2016 at 8:10 am

    great post

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