Monday, January 23, 2012

Literacy Dig: Goodwill

This week, my team and I went to the local Goodwill to do field work for a literacy dig. Goodwill seemed like a great location to have a literacy dig; it could also be taken even further by incorporating themes such as sustainability and building jobs in the community.

Field work is essential to get the most out of your literacy dig. By going to the site to take notes and understand the surroundings, you can iron out any kinks that could hinder your literacy dig.

It is very important to talk to someone at the site to let them know what you are doing and to get permission for any filming or photography that will be shot. Goodwill has a strict policy that needed to be followed; to avoid trouble, the appropriate person should be notified. They can also be very helpful in letting you see areas that you wouldn't have noticed or providing resources that you wouldn't be able to get otherwise. For example, we were able to get old flyers that were out of print because of asking.

Goodwill had a very print rich environment, with signs advertising items and pricing throughout the store. There were also several posters along the wall as well as labels on larger items. Although Goodwill had a lot of unique print, there were "normal" print found in several places visible that could be pointed out to the children such as the fire alarm, the wet floor sign and the signs to the women's and men's bathroom. Because we see these things so often, it is easy to overlook them. It can be a great opportunity to let the children show you their experiences with these typical forms of print.

Of course, collaboration is the essence of teaching and this was no different. I got several wonderful ideas from the media department to do with young children such as:

  • Having a guided tour around the store;
  • Helping the children see that recycling helps save resources and provides jobs in the community;
  • Understanding the difference between something that can be recycled and what is trash. 

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