- cardboard cutout letters
- large sheets of construction paper
- child safety scissors
- drawing and writing materials
- old magazines
- children's picture dictionary
- hole punch/yarn/binder rings
Objective: Children will become familiar with letters of the alphabet and begin developing picture and word associations with this bookmaking activity.
- Make up a song that includes the name of each child in the group and the letter his/her name begins with. For example, "T is for Tasha, and Tasha is our friend, B is for Benjamin, and we like Ben." As you sing the song, hold up the appropriate cardboard letters.
- Show children a picture dictionary. Explain that a picture dictionary has lots of pictures and words that tell you what the pictures are, but they are not storybooks. People use dictionaries to find out what words mean.
- Invite children to make a class picture dictionary. Explain that they will not complete this activity in one day, but over the course of a few days. Divide the class into groups and provide each group with a large sheet of construction paper and a cardboard cutout letter. Different groups of children will work on different letters.
- To begin, write a letter at the top of the paper each group is working on. Children can find pictures in the magazines that start with that letter, cut the pictures out, and glue them to construction paper. As children work, emphasize the letter sounds.
- After children have attached their pictures to the construction paper, help them write the word under the picture. Some children will use invented spelling; other children may want to dictate the word to you. If a child dictates the word to you, show him how the letters are formed and name each letter as you write it.
- Use the hole punch, yarn, or binder rings to bind children's pages together, making a book. Continue to add to your class picture dictionary throughout the year.
Curriculum Connection: FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Letters From Home. Assign each child his own alphabet letter to take home, along with a note to families explaining the activity. With families, children can hunt for items in their homes that begin with that letter. Children can then bring one of the items to class. Each child can tell the class what his letter was, what the item is, and a little bit about the item.
ABC I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
Scholastic Visual Dictionary by Jean Claude Corbeil and Ariane Archambault (eds.)