Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

I made an alphabet. A photo alphabet. After an amble in the area in the afternoon. I downloaded the photos… and alphabet possibilities tumbled out:
b for blackbird, d for daffodil, e for evergreen, f for fungus….

A relevant alphabet. Meaningful. To me anyway.

Click here  to view my powerpoint, ‘April Alphabet’, (takes a few seconds to download).

And so to the classroom… Imagine the relevance of alphabet cards and alphabet books that you and the children make together – for use in your classroom.

Digital photos make literacy easy. Children suggest pictures for letters. Take the digital photos. Download. Add text. Print alphabet cards – or alphabet book. Use!

A friend emailed about a few children who struggle with letters and sounds. To help solve this problem, she has the children take the photos to make a class alphabet book (with her help). What a great idea!

She says, “On top of what I’m already doing, I’ll get these children to take photos to create our own class alphabet book.  It will be their project to present to the class.  I work with them for…  to create it and share it, then most importantly constantly refer back to it when they are struggling with the sounds.”

Such a group-made alphabet book is relevant to the children. Personal. Meaningful. About the children. Their classroom. Their school. Their community.

I’ve done this with children in two ways: drawings and digital photos.  After discussion, the children draw pictures to represent the letter, e.g. z for zucchini in a vegetable alphabet book; c for crocodile on animal alphabet cards. At other times, children suggest an object for each letter and I take the photos, e.g. c for computer, d for door, p for pencil.

Once, a six year old made A Car Alphabet by drawing a car with the name for each letter, A a for Alfa Romeo, B b for Buick, C c for Cadillac…. Guess what his main interest was at the time!

Early childhood classrooms usually have alphabet cards. These are on a word wall with additional word cards that the children use in their writing.

Alphabet cards as part of a word wall

Early childhood classrooms have alphabet cards for children to use when learning letter formations and phonics. These are beneath the whiteboard for proximity to the children – not above the board and out of reach.

A low alphabet for children to trace and touch

And of course, every classroom needs a basket of Alphabet Books.

Store alphabet books together for convenience

Have you made class alphabet books? How?

Comments on: "An April Alphabet" (6)

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  3. lizjorg said:

    Thanks, Coral. I shared the creative ‘Alphabeasties’ recently with some junior classes and some teachers followed up with the jigsaw puzzle, and one used the stimulus for a similar art activity that she said the students enjoyed – especially as now they have a class produced laminated book to take home, show and enjoy. It will become part of our library collection later.

    • Liz,
      I remember ‘Alphabeasties’. There are many alphabet books around now for teachers, parents and children to choose from. The follow up art activity sounds like fun – especially when a class book is the product – and having it as a take-home book is added literacy value: meaningful, relevant and personal reading! Sounds great Liz.
      Thanks for your comments,

  4. Laura said:

    Coral – I love the idea of a meaningful alphabet! Such a fun activity for all involved to find and then choose what you want to take photos of for the different letters or concept. Plus personalizing the cards with the child’s own writing, drawings, name can make it even more meaningful, which means more learning! A fun and easy idea for anyone!
    Thanks Coral!

    • Laura,
      Thanks for your comments. Child-made alphabet cards and/or books are meaningful – and memorable! This is an easy and fun activity for parents and children at home too. Do you make picture/letter cards for sounds your speech kiddies are working on?

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