FINGERS DO THE WALKING
The local telephone directory gives you a lot of organized information about
your community. It can be fun-and a useful learning tool.
Areas of Study
Social Studies (awareness of community services, career awareness)
Language Arts (reading, alphabetizing, oral communication, labeling, creative
Mathematics (graphing, counting)
Art (lettering, coloring, collage making, story making, creating ad layout)
By utilizing their telephone directory students will become aware of:
- different types
of jobs in their city or area.
- community services..
- the number of
different kinds of businesses in their community.
- the number of
people with the same last name in their community.
- local business
advertisements and what information they have in common.
- how to use the
telephone directory (optional).
1 or 2 class periods
Telephone directories, glue, crayons, paper, pencils
Comments to the Teacher
Parents, local businesses, and the telephone company are usually happy
to donate old telephone directories to your class. Not many books are
needed, as the children can share them. Even very young children can recognize
things that begin with specific letters.
Read the story I Found Them in the Yellow Pages by Norma Farber
(Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1973).
Tell your students that they will make their own book of occupations from
the yellow pages. Give each of your students or pair of students a letter
of the alphabet to find in the yellow pages. Ask them to choose an occupation
or a picture representing that occupation from the yellow pages. Have
them cut out the name of the occupation or an advertisement representing
the chosen occupation and glue it on a piece of construction paper. Next,
have the students draw a picture on the construction paper of someone
who is in their selected occupation. Collect the pictures and make a book
out of them, placing the occupations in alphabetical order. The children
now have a collection of people in various occupations in their community.
If you prefer, instead of making a book out of the collected occupations
you may wish to make a collage. After children have cut out the name of
the occupation or an advertisement representing that occupation, glue
all the children's choices to a piece of large colored construction paper.
Have children cut out magazine pictures or draw pictures of matching occupations.
Glue them to the construction paper. Label the occupations. Your class
now has an occupation collage.
For each occupation in the book or on the collage ask students to answer
the following questions. Record their answers on the chalkboard.
- What kinds of
things does this (doctor, painter, lawyer, salesperson) do? (Help students
make the list as long as possible. Discuss their suggestions so that
a realistic list of activities results.)
- What special clothes
does this (doctor, painter, lawyer, salesperson) wear, if any?
- What special tools
does this person use?
- What does the
person get after doing a good job?
- What can happen
to the person who doesn't do the job correctly?
Have different students
copy this information onto sheets of paper for addition to the directory.
Ask students to bring in new occupations from time to time, and add this
information to the directory.
This activity can quickly increase the vocabulary of students and give
deeper meaning to such common roles as mail carrier, teacher, principal,
dentist, garbage collector, and so on.
Give each student or pair of students a specific letter to see what last
name under that letter has the most people. Students cut out the column
or columns of their selected name. Each column of names is placed on a
large sheet of paper to create a graph. Another way of selecting names
is to have each child look up his or her own last name in the directory
to see how many people have the same last name. A graph can be made of
classroom last names. Students enjoy seeing their last names in a graph
and they also enjoy seeing the number of people who share their last names.
Make a worksheet asking students to find the number of people in specific
occupations and services in their community, such as: How many doctors
in our community? How many libraries in our community?, etc. You can ask
more advanced students to locate places like the nearest post office or
Read, or have some of the students read, some of the advertisements in
the yellow pages. Discuss what kind of information the ads have in them,
such as addresses, telephone numbers, and store hours. Ask the students
to explain why this information is important. Have each student or group
of students compose their own advertisement for an imaginary business
in their community. Emphasize the need to put important information in
the advertisements. Make a bulletin board out of the students' advertisements.