There are 26 letters in the alphabet, and 26,000 ways to use them. Here are a few.
Subjects Language Arts
Time Frame Will vary depending on the project
Materials Paper, pencils, imagination
For younger students
- Do a shared writing chart. Pick a category and try to come up with one word for each letter of the alphabet (for example, animals, food, names, toys).
- Sing fun alphabet songs. Some favorites are:
Backwards ABCs (to the same tune as the traditional ABC song)
Write the letters from Z to A on the board or on a chart, and point to each one as you sing. End with "now we know our Z Y Xs, next time we will go to Texas."
I Am Learning (to the tune of London
I am learning letter A
Letter A, letter A
I am learning letter A
a a a a a (for this line sing the sound the letter makes, not its name)
In the middle grades
- Give one page of a newspaper to each student or pair of students. Each student should have a highlighter. Each individual or team highlights one word that starts with each letter of the alphabet on their newspaper page. This can also be done as a race.
- Challenge students to write sentences that feature words in alphabetical order, for example, "Michael never ordered pancakes." Students may pick their starting letter and work at writing longer and longer sentences.
In the upper grades
- Have students research the history of the English alphabet. Students can make a large chart showing various alphabets from around the world (Greek, Cyrillic, Egyptian, Arabic, etc.) and use it to compare and contrast the features of each one.
- Students will write an autobiography in which each paragraph features a reflection on a facet of the student's life that begins with a given letter, for example, H for hobbies, F for family. Depending on the grade and ability level, students may be required to use all the letters or only a given number.
There are thousands of alphabet books, from simple ABCs to wildly creative volumes. Here are some favorites:
So Many Bunnies by Rick Walton
A to Zen by Ruth Wells
Antics by Cathi Hepworth
Arlene Alda's ABC by Arlene Alda
Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom
Tomorrow's Alphabet by George Shannon
Printed with permission from Firefly Books Ltd.
Great Teacher Projects K-8 by Laura Mayne