Activity Plan 4-5: It's Easy as ABC!
Here's an orderly way to explore families
- Grades: PreK–K
- 3" × 5" index cards or sentence strips cut into sections
- tape or Sticky Tac
- chart paper
- language and literacy
- problem solving
- observational skills
- social awareness
Prepare an area to make an alphabetized word wall of children's names and their family members' names. Write the uppercase letters of the alphabet on individual index cards and attach them to the wall, leaving space below for the names.
Ask children to write their names on individual index cards. Offer assistance if needed. Bring the group together and explain that they will orga- : nize their names in "ABC" order. They can use the word wall as a guide. Invite children to affix their names under the appropriate letters.
During small-group time, give children index cards and help them write the names of all of their family members, including pets, on the cards. Then work with them to organize the names in "ABC" order. Use a paper clip to secure each child's cards to use for a whole-group activity the following day.
The following day, ask children to bring their cards to the meeting area. Invite each child to read his names and to affix them to the word wall.
Help the class develop a language experience chart to analyze the information on their word wall. Review all of the names under each letter. Encourage children to describe what they notice. Which letter has the most names and which has the fewest? Are there letters that do not have any names underneath? How many names are the same? Are there names that sound the same but are spelled differently?
Remember: Young children can begin to understand the concept of alphabetizing by using only the first letter of a word. Display the alphabet at eye level, so children can refer to it when organizing words into "ABC" order.
Send home a questionnaire that asks families to describe how they chose their children's names. Request that they complete the questionnaire with their child so that he will know about his name. Why did they choose their child's name? Does it have a special meaning? Is their child named for a family member or for another special person? Ask them to return the questionnaire so that the group can share what they learned about their names.
Curriculum Connection: WRITING
Name Cards Place a list of children's names in the writing area so that they can learn to write one another's names. Keep blank index cards in the writing area and invite children to add more names, copying them from the word wall. Add words that describe family members, such as mommy, daddy, grandmother, grandfather, sister, and brother. Include words that reflect children's cultures, too.