Let's Make an Alphabet Book
This activity leads to literacy skill building and lively conversation as children come together to create a class book.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Develop their understanding of the alphabet, beginning letter sounds, and concept of print
- Materials to make alphabet sheets: oaktag, glue sticks, several crayons. Prepare 26 sheets of paper with a letter of the alphabet written on the top of each sheet. Write both the upper- and lowercase letter on each sheet
- Bookbinding materials including a hole punch or stapler, yarn or binder rings, and clear contact paper
- An alphabet book like It Begins With an A by Stephanie Calmenson or Into the A, B, Sea by Deborah Lee Rose
Step 1: Read a familiar alphabet book to the class. Then, invite children to make a classroom alphabet book. Review the alphabet to help prepare them for the activity. Write each letter of the alphabet (upper- and lowercase) as they state it, down the left-hand side of a sheet of the board.
Step 2: Ask children to think of a word that begins with each letter, starting with A. Say a few words that begin with the letter to help them to hear the first letter sound — apple, alligator, and ant. Record their words beside each letter.
Step 3: Distribute the alphabet sheets. Explain to children that they can either draw pictures of things that begin with the letter or cut out pictures from a magazine, newspaper, or catalog. After distributing the sheets, ask each child to show the letter or letters she has for the activity.
Step 4: Once children have completed the activity, ask them to share their work with each other. Invite them to work together to think of a title and make a front and back cover for their class book. Bind the pages together and cover the book with clear contact paper to preserve it. Place the book in the library or writing area for children to use.
Engage children in a conversation about the different ways people use writing in their homes. Tell them that you will place writing materials, including paper and pencils and a dry erase message board, in the dramatic play area so that they can make grocery lists, write recipes, or leave notes for each other. During class recall time, invite children to show their classmates the different ways they incorporated writing into their play. Remember that many children will be imitating writing and will not really be able to write actual notes.