What Are Glyphs?
The word ‘glyph’ is a very broad term. Glyphs for students can be described as a pictorial form of collecting data. For example, using a shape or picture to stand for a word. Glyphs can be used in the classroom to transcribe a large amount of data, create a graph, or as a decoding activity.
Kindergarten glyphs are primarily used as direction following activities and will often fall in the category of a decoding activity. By decoding glyphs, kindergarteners will learn how to collect and analyze data in an interesting way. There are several developmentally appropriate ways to use glyphs in your kindergarten classroom, and students will enjoy creating the colorful charts and individualized artwork. Some of the skills exercised when creating glyphs include listening skills, reading and math skills.
Kindergarten Glyph Activities
Individual All About Me Glyph
Cut out child-shaped paper dolls from posterboard or tag board. Provide each student with a set of directions as to how to decorate their glyph. For example, the directions can state:
- Color the pants blue if you are a boy
- Color the pants pink if you are a girl
- Color the shirt blue if your birthday is in January, February, March or April
- Color the shirt green if your birthday is in May, June, July, or August
- Color the shirt red if your birthday is in September, October, November or December
- Color the shoes blue if you have a pet
- Color the shoes brown if you do not have a pet
Display the glyphs in the classroom, and ask questions about the individual glyphs to determine comprehension, such as “How many students have pets?” The children should be able to count the number of blue shoes in order to determine how many students in the class have pets. Ask children “How do we know how many girls have birthdays in May, June, July or August?” Students should be able to tell you that glyphs with pink pants and green shirts are girls with birthdays in those months.
Large Group Transportation Glyph
Create a chart or graph using glyphs that answers the question: “How Does Our Class Get To School?” Create a chart listing each child’s name with an empty space next to it.
- As a sign in activity, ask children to decide how they get to school each morning.
- If children take the bus, they should color a blue triangle next to their name.
- If children are driven to school in a car, they should color a red circle next to their name.
- If children walk to school, they should color a yellow square next to their name.
- If children travel to school in another way, they should color a green star next to their name.
- If children travel to school in two or more of these ways, have them color as many shapes as necessary next to their name.
Use the data to create a Venn diagram as a large group activity. Ask questions to determine comprehension such as “How many students in our class ride the bus to school?” or “How do we know how many students walk to school in the morning?” If your class has difficulty understanding a Venn diagram, you can create a bar graph using the collected data. For a free printable Venn Diagram, visit this website.
Kindergarten glyphs for students can increase kindergarteners understanding of charts, data collection, and graphs. They are also a helpful tool when teaching children to decipher graphs and decode information.
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