Using Glyphs

I posted this yesterday and thought more explaining was needed in order for you to try and incorporate this idea into your homeschool classroom. Have fun! 🙂

“Glyphs? What are they?” you ask.  If you thought it sounded similar to hieroglyphics you would be right as that form of written language is associated with pictures. Glyphs are a nonstandard way of collecting data through either coloring or creating pictures. I have found them to be helpful with students for a variety of reasons. Each glyph ask questions about a certain topic and the reader then follows the directions based upon the response they gave. You can have your student do a glyph involving general questions or you can pick a specific subject. Students then either create a picture or color one that you have chosen. This happens by answering a series of questions you have written or you can find ones already done for you. Some questions could include, ” If it is Spring, draw a tulip and color it red. If it is Summer, draw a daisy and color it pink.” Another choice could be, “If birds build nests in the spring, draw and color the nest  grey. If birds build nests in the fall, draw and color the nest  brown.”

You can create your own glyph activity using free coloring pages found on the internet. I created a Spring glyph that you can download and this one does not include cutting, but rather coloring. Here are the directions. You can download them and the coloring page that I used for this glyph with the links I have provided following the directions.

  • If you like ice cream, color the ice cream cone brown.
  • If you do not like ice cream, color the ice cream cone red.
  • If it is Summer, color the sun orange.
  • If it is Spring, color the sun yellow.
  • If you like to go to the beach color the pail blue.
  • If you do not like to go to the beach color the pail green.
  • If you have planted seeds for your garden, color the seed packet purple.
  • If you have not planted seeds for your garden, color the seed packet pink.
  • If you like science color the balloons orange.
  • If you do not like science color the balloons black.
  • If you like to swim instead of ride a bike, color the flowers pink and purple.
  • If you like to ride a bike instead of swim, color the flowers orange and red.

Spring Glyph directions, coloring page

How about a space glyph?  You can check comprehension of a topic by the color chosen for each object. If you were studying space travel students color a rocket based upon the responses given. You can download my glyph or  you can make up your own questions, depending upon your need.Space GlyphCount Down coloring sheet

In early March I used a snowman glyph with a student I am teaching where he had to make the mouth of the snowman based upon what type of activity he’d rather do on a winter day. I decided that he would create and cut out the shapes for the snowman instead of drawing them as this helps with small motor skills and creativity. You can find the glyph instructions by clicking here. Here is what the snowman looked like when it was finished. I think it turned out well. 🙂


So, why use glyphs?

  • Glyphs help students with decision-making and critical thinking.
  • Students practice following directions.
  • The glyph can be used as a language arts activity about the subject. A paragraph can be written about the topic of the glyph. This can help a student with paragraph writing since they could just take the data they have already been working with and make it into a paragraph.
  • Graphs can be made from the glyphs if you have more than one person participating. For instance if you had a glyph that pertained to summer activities you could graph one of the responses such as, “How many people like to go to the beach?”
  • Independent work can be encouraged through this activity. If you need to work with your preschooler and your second grader is waiting for you, have them complete a glyph.
  • You can tailor glyphs to fit your needs. Use this as an assessment tool in order to see if the topic was understood.
  • Students can create their own glyphs, which is a higher thinking process.

One thought on “Using Glyphs

  1. Mrs. Arocho’s kindergarteners at Patten School in Perth Amboy, NJ, created snowman glyphs. They posted their glyphs and the legend in the hallway so that other students could learn more about the class.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s