SOS: Read the Signs

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Read the Signs

PDF and Vignette Version

SOS Big IdeaThe National Reading Council recommends that students receive explicit instruction in the application of multi-strategy methods, because they are highly effective in enhancing understanding. This strategy gets students engaged in using the meanings and colors of road signs to synthesize what they learned from a particular video. Students then explain their understanding by creating PowerPoint or Google Slide presentations from the templates provided.


SOS StepsMaterials: Discovery Education video segment, reading passage or other content, index cards, writing utensils

  1. Select video or reading passage relevant to your content and prepare a table that aligns each road sign with an academic task that students will complete.
  2. Discuss the meaning, interpretation, and significance of road signs. Use images to support the discussion, and encourage students to share their insights, as each image is displayed.
  3. Share the correlation task table (see chart on next page) with students.
  4. Show the media you’ve selected to the entire class, or have the students watch or read in pairs. 
  5. Have students work in teams to record information and explanations on their road signs in a presentation format, with one road sign per slide. (The teacher could provide students with a template made from the road sign images on the attached page.)
  6. Have students share their insights with classmates.


SOS Sum It UpThis strategy helps students synthesize their understanding in a fun and engaging way. Attaching an academic task to the meaning of everyday road signs guides students toward knowledge acquisition, while also providing them with visual representations that help with comprehension and retention of information.



SOS More Ideas


  • Pair this strategy with the SOS Paper Slide Videos by having students create a paper slide video with the road signs they complete.
  • Find unusual road signs and have students create their own academic meaning for each one. Alternatively, have students create their own road signs that explain or extend the media they’ve watched or read. For example, after reading Charlotte’s Web, students could create a yellow caution sign for Unusual Spider Crossing or they might create a brown sign saying “Zuckerman Farm Historical Site, 2 miles.”

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