Alphabet Books

Literacy Strategy #2

What:

Older students (grades 3-5, 6-8) create a sophisticated, scrapbook-like collection of technical vocabulary words and pictures representing each letter of the alphabet.


Students choose vocabulary words beginning with each letter of the alphabet, write explanation on how word relates to topic, add illustrations to accompany text

When:

  • Projects during/at the end of thematic units
  • English language learners

Why:

Alphabet books help students expand their vocabulary by providing multiple, meaningful experiences with the words they are studying.
  • Talk about words they are choosing, read and write about them
  • Make connections between words and big ideas under study

How:

*Best when created collaboratively as a class*

  1. Examine alphabet books: study format and design of published children's alphabet books to get ideas
  2. Prepare alphabet chart: teacher creates chart for students to brainstorm/fill in vocabulary words next to the appropriate letter
  3. Choose letter: students sign up for the letter they think they can represent best
  4. Design page format: students decide how they want their page to look (layout, illustrations, text patterns, etc.)
  5. Use writing process to create pages: students draft, revise, and edit pages, produce final copy
  6. Compile pages: teacher and students arrange pages in alphabetical order, design cover, and bind completed book