"The two best predictors of early reading success are alphabet recognition and phonemic awareness."
- Marilyn Jager Adams
Current research tells us that the two most reliable indicators of future reading success are Phonemic Awareness and Alphabet Recognition. To be sure that no one is confused about these terms, I'd like to offer the following definitions:
Alphabet Recognition is the ability to read the letters of the alphabet when presented with them in random order.
Many parents are convinced their child "knows" the alphabet simply because they can sing the ABC song and/or recite the alphabet, or because they can point to the letters in order while singing or saying the alphabet.
Being able to do any of those things indicates a child has some background knowledge about the alphabet, but it certainly doesn't mean the child knows the alphabet. As professionals, we need to be able to explain the difference to parents (and, sometimes, to our colleagues). We also need to have many different tools available to us for teaching about the alphabet, while building phonemic awareness in our students and while teaching phonics skills.
Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken words are made up of a series of discrete sounds. Therefore, most phonemic awareness activities are oral, based on listening and speaking and playing with sounds.
According to author Wiley Blevins, "Phonemic awareness is not related to print. A child can possess some level of phonemic awareness before learning the alphabet ... once children know the letters of the alphabet, these visual clues will benefit many students."
Phonics deals with the learning of sound-spelling relationships, and is associated with printed words.
Though phonemic awareness and phonics are not mutually exclusive, research suggests that a child must have a strong basis in phonemic awareness before they're ready for formal phonics instruction.
In my opinion, this does not mean that we should wait until our students know the names and sounds of all the letters before we give them books to read or before we ask them to participate in Writer's Workshop. What it does mean is that we need to use a lot of songs, poems, chants, oral games, and other activities to build the Phonemic awareness our students need to become successful readers and writers.
Phonemic awareness and learning about the alphabet go hand-in-hand in a Balanced Literacy program. To quote Blevins once again:
"Nothing can take the place of
reading, writing, and listening to stories in an early literacy program.
Therefore, whatever you do with phonemic awareness should be done in the
context of a print-rich environment with multiple language experiences."
I highly recommend the following Phonemic
Awareness resource books
by Wiley Blevins. They will be the basis for many hours of valuable instruction, and will help you offer your students the best possible start in a Balanced Literacy classroom environment:
Phonemic Awareness Activities for Early Reading Success ~ Easy, Playful Activities That Prepare Children for Phonics Instruction
by Wiley Blevins
Phonemic awareness -- the catch phrase of 90's reading instruction that means "understanding that words are made up of sounds" -- is essential to children's early reading success. Blevins shows how to help your students develop phonemic awareness through fun, engaging, easy to teach activities. Contains ready to go lesson plans and a terrific bibliography. 20% off Scholastic's price
Phonics from A to Z : A Practical Guide
by Wiley Blevins
Everything you wanted to know about phonics, but were afraid to ask, from emergent reading specialist Wiley Blevins. Phonics from A to Z explains how to build an engaging, effective phonics program into your existing language arts program. Topics include the stages of reading development, alphabet recognition, and phonemic awareness. Lots of ready-to-use lessons, word lists, games and learning center ideas. 20% off Scholastic's price.
By Wiley Blevins
Live Audio Tape, Reproducible Song and Rhyme Sheets, and Easy Lessons That Prepare Kids for Phonics
Published 1999 ~ 20% off Scholastic's price
By Wiley Blevins
Another outstanding resource that makes phonics fun to teach and learn.
20 % off Scholastic's price
The Alphabet Song
Tune: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
a b c d
e f g
h i j k
l m n
o p q
r s t
u v w
x y z
I display this
alphabet song on a hanging chart and make individual copies for poetry
journals and to use during Guided Reading (good for teaching tracking and
one-to-one correspondence). I also make small flip-books, using one
line from the song on each page, with a star at the end of each line, telling
them to stop until we're ready to go on. My chart and poetry journal
copies use the lowercase alphabet, and I make separate flip books for uppercase
and lowercase letters.
The Backwards Alphabet Song
Tune: Traditional ABC song tune
Z Y X W V U T
S R Q P
O N M L K
J I H - pause- G F E
D C B and A,
Now we know our
Z Y X's,
Next time we will go to TEXAS!
The "Almost" Alphabet Song
By Victoria Smith
Tune: The Witch Doctor
(you know, that song that goes oo, ee, oo, ah ah,
ding dang walla walla bing bang!)
A B C D E
H I J K
L M N O P
S T U V
and that ain't all!
My first graders *loved* this song!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Book & Audio Cassette Edition
This is everyone's favorite ABC book, and one that my students never grow tired of. The rhyming text is great for developing phonemic awareness and encouraging children to chant the story and read along. The audio tape -- by Ray Charles -- is outstanding, and has several readings of the story, plus more fun poetry from John Archambault. Keep an eye on the Scholastic bookclubs for ths book -- in September 1998, they were offering the paperback version for 99 cents! I bought enough to last a couple years, as student gifts and for my classroom prizebox.
Chicka Chicka ABC
An abbreviated, board-book version of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,
great to use in your alphabet and magnetic letters centers.
Chicka Chicka Sticka Sticka
Includes colorful, peel-off, reusable vinyl stickers to retell the story and create
Follow Up Activities
Let's Sing Around the Coconut
By Victoria Smith
Tune: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Let's sing around the coconut tree,
The coconut tree, the coconut tree,
Let's sing around the coconut tree,
Singing the sounds of letters.
This is the sound that A makes
a a a a a a
This is the sound that A makes
a a a a a.
Note: sing the short vowel sounds and the most
common consonant sound.
For X, I always have my students use the sound at the end of "fox."
I made a simple Big Flip Book for this,
with a coconut tree and the upper and lower case of each letter, one page
per letter, on a 12x18 light blue construction paper. I used Ellison
cutouts for the letters, and had the kids make the palm trees as a directed
art project (torn paper trunk, cut paper palm fronds and coconuts).
Bind the pages together at the *bottom* so that you can hold it in your
lap and flip each page down. The kids really enjoy singing this on
their own, and they can hold the book in their lap, just like the teacher,
and lead their friends in singing the song!
Magnetic Letters Center
I made a construction paper coconut tree (about two feet tall), laminated it, and attached it with double-sided tape to the side of a filing cabinet next to my desk. I keep a copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on the floor, along with two buckets of magnetic letters. The kids use this as a center, and it's exciting to see the different ways they use the letters: some kids copy the pages in the story and read the book aloud, others ignore the book and use the letters to spell their name and other words, and still other students sort the letters by color, letter, size, etc. Many of my students also enjoy making patterns from the magnetic letters and seeing if they can stump me as to what the pattern is ... they love to do tricky things like tall letter - tall letter - capital letter.
Other teachers have told me they use
cookie sheets, stove burner covers, pie pans, and oil drip pans as magnetic
boards for letters. Any of these would be great with a copy of the
book and some magnetic letters in a portable tub.
These follow up
ideas for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
are from KinderKorner subscribers:
For letter assessment, I make Chicka
Chicka Boom Boom trees with capital
letters on it and for every letter a child can tell me a sticker goes on the
letter. When they know all the letters on the tree, they can take it home.
My daughter's Kindergarten teacher had a unique magnetic letter/numbers center. It was a big version of a coconut tree like in the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. She used five 5 lb. coffee containers and taped them together one on top of the other and then covered them with wall paper that looked like "tree" texture. She put slits in the top plastic lid and made branches (like in the book) out of green construction paper with one end fitting into the slits. The top coffee can lid came off and the letters were stored inside. The children loved it! It really looked like the tree in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. They made words on the sides and made their names climb the tree. I will definately make one of these!
I was planning on a Chicka Chicka bulletin board, but I am going to put the children's names on the corresponding letter going up the tree. Amanda written on a big capital A for example.
Here's the number and address for School and Carnival Supplies so that you
can purchase the plastic coconuts and the 6' palm tree:
311 Cowan Rd.
Gulfport, MS 39507
Fax (228) 896-3237
An Alphabet of Single Letter
Can be used on charts, for poetry journals, as a class Big Book,
or to make individual books to illustrate.
A is for
A is for ants.
A is for apples
on my pants.
B is for bear.
B is for boat.
B is for buttons
on my coat.
C is for cow.
C is for cat.
C is for caterpillar
on my hat.
D is for dinosaur.
D is for dog.
D is for doll
on my log.
E is for envelope.
E is for eggs.
E is for elephant
on my legs.
F is for fire engine.
F is for fish.
F is for fox
in my dish.
G is for girl.
G is for goat.
G is for gorilla
in my boat.
H is for horse.
H is for hair.
H is for hippopotamus
on my chair.
I is for igloo.
I is for ink.
I is for iguana
in my sink.
J is for jelly.
J is for jeep.
J is for jacket
on my sheep.
K is for kite.
K is for king.
K is for key
on my string.
L is for lion.
L is for log.
L is for leaves
on my frog.
M is for mittens.
M is for mouse.
M is for monkeys
on my house.
N is for newspaper.
N is for nest.
N is for numbers
on my vest.
O is for octopus.
O is for ox.
O is for ostrich
in my box.
P is for pizza.
P is for pan.
P is for pencils
in my can.
Q is for queen.
Q is for quail.
Q is for quarters
in my pail.
R is for rose.
R is for ring.
R is for rabbit
on my swing.
S is for sun.
S is for socks.
S is for snails
on my blocks.
T is for tooth.
T is for truck.
T is for tie
on my duck.
U is for underwear.
U is for up.
U is for umbrella
in my cup.
V is for violin.
V is for van
V is for violets
in my pan.
W is for worm.
W is for wagon.
W is for wings
on my dragon.
X is for x-ray.
X marks the spot.
X is for kisses.
I have a lot!
Y is for yo-yo.
Y is for yak.
Y is for yarn
in my sack.
Z is for zebra.
Z is for zoo.
Z is for zipper
on my shoe.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
An inviting look at the first day of school in Miss Bindergarten's class.
The simple rhyming text tells how the animal children get ready for the big event. As a bonus, the names of the students are listed alphabetically,
each first letter corresponding to its animal type (Jessie is a jaguar, Zak is
a zebra, etc.) -- there's an alphabetical list of the animals at the end of the story.
Our Big Book of Names
I make a big book from 12 x 18 construction paper, using enough sheets to have a double page spread for each letter of the alphabet. I bind the book down the long side, using the Velobind machine.
The top of each
left-hand page has a large capital and lowercase letter written on it,
so it looks like this:
To work on the
book each day, I put all the children's names in the pocket chart and the
book on the easel. We start with the letter A. Anyone whose
name begins with the letter A gets their name written on that page in large
letters, with the capital A in red, like this:
We go through
the entire alphabet this way, doing as many pages per day as seems reasonable.
When we've finished writing everyone's name, we go back to the beginning
and add all the names that include that letter. Andrew would also
get his name on the following pages: Nn, Dd, Rr, Ee, Ww. I
write the page's letter in red, and all the other colors in black.
On the Nn page, Andrew's name would look like this:
Once the book
is finished, I make a new -- blank -- copy, with only the 26 letters filled
in, and the kids write in their own names, using red and black markers.
When we get a new student, we add her name, too. These two books
are favorites all year long, and the children love to read their name and
their friends' names on all the different pages.
The Alphabet Tree
Letters on the alphabet tree find strength by joining together to make words
From Acorn to Zoo
And Everything in Between in Alphabetical Order
An extremely high-interest picture book with lots of great words and pictures, along with the fun of a question and pictorial clue on each page. My students use this book as a writing and spelling resource.
Also available in hardcover
Alphabet from Z to A
With Much Confusion on the Way
A fun book with lots of silly rhymes ... great for word play and developing phonemic awareness.
Alligator Arrived with Apples ~ A Potluck Alphabet Feast
Dragonwagon's charming alliterative alphabet story describes the guests and menu of the most unusual Thanksgiving feast.
The Accidental Zucchini
An Unexpected Alphabet
An unusual and playful journey through the alphabet, featuring Fork Fences, a Macaroni Merry-Go-Round, and Umbrella Underwear.
Small children eat their way through the alphabet, from Alicia's Appetizing Asparagus to Zoe's Zesty Zucchini, in a zany alphabet book that combines lively illustrations with a fun filled, tongue twisting alliterative text.
A You're Adorable
A clever romp through the alphabet where a lively company of children and assorted pets scamper across the bright pages and through the letters from A to Z. Also available as a boardbook. Under $4.
Miss Spider's ABC
From ants to the zebra butterfly, Miss Spider's friends prepare for her giant surprise birthday party: "Bumblebees blow balloons ... Earthworms entertain ... Fireflies fandango ... Moths mingle ... Owlflies ogle."
When Albert the Goose is asked to build an alphabet for the school playground, he sets to work using tools and lumber from his carpentry workshop. Award winning illustrations. Under $4.
Q Is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game
Find out why Why does A stands for zoo, B is for dog, and C is for hen in this amusing alphabet story.
A clever alphabet book for children already familiar with letters and beginning sounds, and able to grasp related concepts of before and afer. A great book for first and second graders, and a complex writing model for older students. Under $5.
Your Science ABCs
For each letter of the alphabet, a poem featuring a whimsical animal character sets the stage for a simple science activity, complete with instructions.
A My Name is Alice
Stephen Kellogg's zany illustrations won a Parents' Choice Award for Illustration in this colorful version of the familiar alphabet poem and jumprope rhyme.
Paper Cutting Stories
From A to Z
A story for each letter of the alphabet, along with directions for the teacher to cut paper into fanciful shapes that complement the stories.
Make Your Own Alphabet Books
Ideas sent in by KinderKorner subscribers
Multi-Medium Alaphabet Book
This one uses several types of art -- lots of fun!
The book contains 13 sheets of regular, white paper which is divided
half horizontally. Letter the pages (upper and lower case letters) in
sequence, using 1/2 page for each letter. Identify each item
on the pages by printing the quoted words for each letter.
1/2 apple print with red paint
B "Blue Balloon"
Use the canister that a roll of film comes in - dip solid
end in blue paint and add a blue line down for string
Glue dried corn to page
D "Diamonds &
Glue diamonds and dots on the pag
(dots are hole punch scraps)
Cut out egg shape
Students draw a face with eyes, nose, mouth
G "Green glue
& green glitter"
Green colored glue (use food coloring),
sprinkled with green glitter
I "Ink stamps"
Use a variety of rubber stamps and ink
Ellison letter J with glitter glue dots for jewels
Colored chalk of keys
2" piece of lace or a lacey paper doiley
Children trace their hand in the shape of a mitten,
cut out and glue to page
N "Newspaper Numbers"
Numbers cut from newspaper
Orange print with 1/2 orange
P "Purple Potato"
Potato print made with purple paint
Wallpaper squares glued into a quilt pattern
R "Ribbon rectangles"
Rectangular pieces of ribbon
Make a capital S with white glue and sprinkle with sand
Glue on 3 toothpicks in a triangle shape
U "Upside down"
Magazine pictures glued upside down
V "Valentine Hearts"
W "Wall paper"
Cut the letter W from wall paper scraps
X "Extra X's"
Draw a tic tac toe board with more x's than o's
Y "Yellow Yo-yo's
Two yellow circles with a yellow yarn for string
Crayon rubbing of a zipper
Steno Alphabet Books
When I taught first grade I had each
child bring in a steno book. I then put the stick-on dividers of
different colors and left about five pages in between each divider.
I then wrote each letter of the alphabet on each tab (upper and lower case
letter) and inserted them into the dividers. I now had a dictionary
that they could add words that they learned and pictures. It is very
neat and they can keep it after.
Creative ABC Book
An alphabet book that we did that turned out really cute and was lots of fun was with pictures. Our school has a digital camera that we can borrow and use on our computers. I assigned each child a letter of the alphabet and had them bring in one item that began with the letter I assigned them. I told the parent to make sure the item was bigger than an apple.
Each child stood in front of my classroom Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree holding their item. For example, a child with the letter A brought in an apple, a child with the letter S brought in a stuffed snake, and for the letter R a girl brought in her pet rabbit.
I took a picture of each of the children. Then, we loaded it on our computer, and we made a copy each child with his or her item (If you do not have 26 kids in you room take your picture with an item, use the principal, specialty teachers, etc). I took the finished pictures and made copies of them for all the children. Before I made the copies, each child wrote at the bottom of his or her picture the letter of the alphabet in capital and lower case and the name of the item. For example: A a Apple. Then, each child put his or her name on the top of the picture.
I used rubber cement and we glued the
pictures to construction paper and had our publishing shop put spiral binding
on them. The title of our alphabet book
was "My Kindergarten Alphabet Book."
It was a great end of the year book
because each child had a darling alphabet book with pictures of his or
her classmates. Hopefully they will keep them for many years to come.
Trash Alphabet Wall Book
submitted by Dawn in T-town
For my trash alphabet, I asked the art
teacher if she had any old poster
board that she never used. She gave me a stack of manila poster board
and I cut them down to 1.5 ft for each side. I put the capital and lowercase
letter on each and laminated them.
The kids brought in (clean) trash that began with each letter and I used a hot glue gun to attach the garbage to the matching letter (Examples -- P was a Papa Johns pizza box, A was animal crackers, C was Coke, cereal, creamed corn. It's excellent for different beginning sounds!) Write a note home and get the parents involved!
The only problem we had was with "X".
I went to my doctors office and asked them to donate an X-ray, so they
cut off the identity of the person and gave me one of a rib cage.
It was really cool, so I hung it below the poster, over a window and the
sunlight came through it. Have fun! If you get stuck on "Z",
save a Ziploc bag box!
Eating the Alphabet:
Fruits and Vegetables From A to Z
A brighly illustrated book with lots of fruits and veggies
for all 26 letters. Our favorite is Ugli Fruit.
Also available as a boardbook. Under $6.
Follow Up Activity to Eating the Alphabet
After we've worked with Eating the Alphabet for several days, discussing the various foods, I read "Yuck Soup" from The Wright Group. Then we make a class big book innovation combining the two stories, which we call Yum Soup. We brainstorm a list of yummy foods from A to Z, and I list them on a Language Experience chart. Then each child gets an 8" x 8" square of white construction paper to illustrate one of the foods in the story.
I glue the illustrations onto 12" x 18" construction paper, and glue the following writing frame to the bottom of each page:
In went some _______. Yum!
It makes a terrific
class book, and it fun to do in October or November, when we're studying
The Icky Bug
The Yucky Reptile
The Furry Animal
Alphabet Sounds Song
Sing the sound the letter makes, not the letter name.
When we learn
these sounds you see,
Ready to read then we will be.
a, a, apple
b, b, ball
c, c, cat and
d, d, doll
e, e, egg and
f, f, fan
g, g, goat and
h, h, hand
i, i, indian
j, j, jam
k, k, king and
l, l, lamb
m, m, man
n, n, nickel
o, o, ox and
p, p, pickle
q, q, queen and
r, r, rail
s, s, sun and
t, t, tail
u, u, umbrella
v, v, vase
I'm nearly through see my happy face.
w, w, wagon
x, x, box
y, y, yard do you see a fox?
z, z, /z/ and z, z, zoo
That was fun and now we're through!
The "Bat-man" Consonant Song
My kids love this one and it's great for October, when we study bats!
You sing the sounds of the letters to the Batman theme tune.
We don't do the vowels, but you could it you wanted to.
Here are the first three verses, to get you started:
b b b b b
b b b
b b b b b b b b
c c c c c
c c c
c c c c c c c c
d d d d d
d d d
d d d d d d d d
Every page of this sumptuous volume features a single letter surrounded by dozens of objects beginning with that letter. Lively questions inspire alphabet search games, visual riddles, and an index of all the objects pictured.
Move over Anne Geddes!
Each picture integrates an action shot of a tot with a big, colorful letter of the alphabet and a featured word in big, black print. Under $7
The Disappearing Alphabet
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur turns his sharp eye to the alphabet and imagines what life would be like without these 26 little -- but powerful -- letters. Great for Making Words type activities.
A simple alphabet book describes aspects of Navajo life, joining A with
Arroyo, B with Belt, C with Cradleboard, and so on, in an introduction to one of the largest Native American tribes in the United States.
A handsome picture book illustrating wildflowers from A to Z. Each bordered page features one plant; intricate potato cuts are printed on cloth.
I Like Me!
Introduce children to the alphabet and reinforce positive self-esteem with the lovable characters of ABC I Like Me!
The Letters Are Lost
One by one, all the alphabet blocks vanish from their box, and youngchildren must search the house to find them, in this lively hide-and-seek alphabet book.
Each page contains one letter of the alphabet printed in black against a white background, but when the reader pulls a secret tab, full-color illustrations magically appear around each letter.
An ingenious look at the alphabet presents a colorful, step-by-step transformation and manipulation of each letter into a familiar object that illustrates the letter and its sound. A Caldecott Honor Book.
Learning Letters Through All Five Senses
This unique and engaging book presents a wide range of sensory activities for each letter of the alphabet. By including all the senses, we can help children learn with their entire bodies. In this way, children not only learn the basic building blocks of language, but also experience them. Highly recommended.
Submitted by Jen
One thing I do with my first graders for spelling is spelling aerobics. For letters that reach the topline (i.e., b,d,f,h,i,k,l,t), we put our arms up in the air and stand on our tiptoes. Letters that touch the middle line (i.e., a,c,e,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x,z) we put our arms to our sides. Letters that go below the bottom line (i.e., g,j,p,q,y) we all squat and sit on our heels.
For example, the
word bag (up / stay / down).
It's fun for the kids and a great workout for the teacher:)
Sign Language Center & Activities
I teach my students to sign the alphabet in ASL (American Sign Language) when we're learning the letters and the alphabet songs. It adds a kinesthetic dimension that's very helpful for some students, and it's fun for almost everyone!
I also have a Sign Language Center, which consists of an ASL alphabet posted taped to a cabinet door, and a small portable tub of sign langauge books. Here are a few of my favorites:
Handsigns: A Sign Language Alphabet
One of our favorite ABC books.
28 simple signs in American Sign Language.
My students love learning simple signs to use at school!
Beautiful color photographs and a spirit of discovery set the stage for a glorious day at the zoo, where deaf actress Mary Beth and a group of children visit familiar animals and demonstrate the signs and fingerspellings for them.
Games and Learning Centers
My students love building the Alphabet Caterpillar!
Be sure to make several sets of this fun game.
Cut 4" circles from several colors of prelaminated construction paper. Arrange 27 circles in a color pattern (ABAB, AABAAB, ABCABC, etc). Write one letter of the alphabet on each circle with permanent marker (you could do uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other), and draw a face on the final circle. Store in a ziplock baggie.
Students spread the circles on a table or on the floor, and put the circles in alphabetical order. The color patterns are a big help with this task, so start with simple patterns and work up to harder ones (or single colors).
Make your own bingo cards from laminated
with the letters of the alphabet written randomly on the cards.
I store these in a ziplock baggie, along
with a deck of alphabet flash cards,
for calling off the letters. You can play as a whole class, in small groups, or use as a center or traveling homework activity.
Read the Room Alphabet Bingo
Give students a 5 x 5 grid that's large
enough for them to write in.
You can dictate the alphabet and they can write each letter in the upper corner of any square they choose. When they have letters in all their squares, you can call out the names of letters and the children have to find a word that either starts with or contains that letter, and write it in the square.
Another version of this is called Word
Hunt. Assign one letter of the alphabet and the kids have to find
any 10 words posted around the room that begin with or contain that letter.
Alphabet Letter Tubs
Ask your grocery store or take-out restaurant to donate 26 pint-sized clear plastic containers with lids. Collect a variety of objects (you probably already have tons of small manipulatives that would work) that begin with each letter of the alphabet, and put them in the tubs. Label each tub with a stick-on vinyl letter or with permanent marker. You can also use baby formula cans for this, and cover them with Contac paper (or just use the empty cans on their own, for the kids to put in alphabetical order).
To help build your collection of objects, send home a snack-sized baggie (the ones that are about 2 inches tall) for homework, along with a note that you are collecting objects for the letters a, b, c, d, and e (do about 5 letters per week, and you'll have a full set in less than a month). Ask students and parents to select items that won't rot (no food!) or break easily, and that do not need to be returned. Be sure to tell them the object must fit inside the baggie!
You can use any extra objects as a separate
center for letter sorting and rhyming activities. Just put them in
a tub with 26 plastic cups (labeled A through Z) and laminated construction
paper than has been divided into 6 or 8 boxes, each labeled with a letter
of the alphabet.
Alphabet Matching Board
* one large sheet of colored posterboard
* 26 library pockets (or get the larger ones, make for holding report cards,
and use more than one poster board)
* 3 x 5 index cards, or tagboard cut to size
* magazines and catalogs to cut up
Write each letter of the alphabet on
a separate library pocket, and glue the pockets to the posterboard in ABC
order. Laminate *after* the pockets are glued on, and use a razor
blade or craft knife to cut the pockets open. Let students find magazine
pictures to cut out and glue to index cards, for objects that start with
each letter of the alphabet (these can also be laminated for sturdiness).
To use board (on the floor or a table), children take all the pictures
out and then sort them back into the pockets. Pre-emergent readers
like to simply look at the pictures and talk about them, using one letter
at a time.
Across America & Australia
26 classes around the world each adopted a letter of the alphabet
and created special activities, songs, and poems.
A great resource site!
for Each Letter of the Alphabet
from Natural Learning
Brett's Alphabet Line Bulletin Board Set
A beautiful alphabet illustrated by Jan Brett,
to print out in full color. Brett fans will love
H (Hedgehog) and A (Armadillo) and R (Reindeer).
Kindergarten Center's Letter Centers
Links to centers for all areas of the curriculum,
sorted by letter of the alphabet ... an outstanding resource!
With A-Z Animal Art & Fingerplays
Over 80 creative ways to learn the ABC's, including making an alphabet zoo, ABC games, letter hunts, finger plays, and rebus sentences.
Natural Learning from A-Z: Thematic Activities and Phonemic Awareness Emphasis
for Letters and Letter Sounds
I don't own a copy of this one, but it comes highly recommended from KinderKorner subscribers.
Library Story Hour
From A to Z:
Ready-To-Use Alphabet Activities for Young Learners
Filled with great activities to go with your themes!
26 Interactive Alphabet
Pre-emergent readers will love completing the pages as they practice handwriting, begin letter collections, and more.
20% off Scholastic's price
Fun Phonics Manipulatives
Quick and Easy Flip Books, Pull Throughs,
and Interactive Mini Books to Make and Share
Learn letter/sound correspondence and develop
a strong sight word vocabulary with these adorable pull-through phonetic
pals, predictable books, and flip-books.
Turn to Learn
26 Ready-to-Go Reproducible Patterns
That Put a New Spin on Learning the Alphabet
20% off Scholastic's price
Hundreds of Activities to Challenge and Enrich Letter Learners of All Ages
A great resource!
20% off publisher's price.
Developing Letter-Sound Connections: A
Strategy-Oriented Alphabet Activities Program for
Beginning Readers & Writers
This is an ECE standby and favorite -- I love the flashcard blackline masters and use my cards daily, along with many of the other activities, including art and fingerplays.
Looking for more ideas?
My bookstore pages have lots of information on how I use various materials in my classroom, and on activities you can do with your students. The thematic pages are complete unit resources, with lots of poems, songs, and links on each page. Make yourself comfortable and take a look around!
Choose from the
Underlined subjects are links, the other ones are coming soon!
Your Books for Guided Reading
reading for pleasure
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and all non-credited text materials on this page
are copyright by Victoria Smith, 1998 & 1999.
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This page went online on August 23, 1999.
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