Today I will engage my students in activity where they will discuss the order of the alphabet, identify the letters and place them in the correct order. My lessons at the beginning of the year are pretty basic. I am laying the foundation for reading and writing by teaching the letter names and sounds.
My students are seated on the carpet for the reading lesson. I will begin my lesson with a review of the letters and sounds by singing to a video. My district uses Alphafriends as part of our new reading curriculum so I am teaching the hand motions using one of the Alphafriends videos. I also use the videos from Have fun teaching and the ABC Rap for variety.
"Today we will sing our Alphafriends song and do the motions. I think I can do them all with out making a mistake. Can you? When we are done, I have a fun game to teach you. You will just love it."
We sing through the Alphafriends video. I sit in front of the class so I can model and entice all my students to make the motions and sing the song. It is through activities like this, using most of the senses and the body that help my students learn. So I encourage all my students to participate.
"The game today is about the ABC's. They like to live in a line and in a certain order. Look at the ABC's here on the wall. It starts with what letter? "A". And ends with what letter? "Z". Yes, with all the other letters lined up in there spots. I am going to give everyone a letter card. When I give it to you I want you to look at it and figure out what letter you have. I will tie this rope across the room so we can hang up the letters. I hang my clothes up outside just like this. Does your mom hang up your clothes to dry? It is funny that we are going to hang the letters."
I string clothesline across the front of my room under the posted alphabet. I keep the "A" to demonstrate how to hang the letter on the clothesline using clothespins.
"Let's start our game. Look at your letters, I need the person that has the letter "A" to come hang it up. If you don't know what the letter looks like, you can look up at the ABC's here on the wall. Who has the "A"? Oh, I do. I will hang it on the line using the clothespin. You have to squeeze this end and make the other end open. Now that I hung up the "A", what comes next? Let's sing the ABC song. "A", "B", Yay, "B" is next. Who has "B"? Come up Josette and hang up the letter "B". Let's sing the ABC song and see what comes next."
I point to the letters hanging on the line as we sing the ABC song. We always stop on the letter that we need. I continue to refer them back to the posted alphabet. The first few times we do this activity it takes a long time because we sing the song after every letter is hung up.
After a few days of doing the activity like this I change it by not giving them the letter. I spread the letters on the floor by the clothesline and call my students up one at a time to find the next letter. I change up the activity again by switching my cards to the lowercase letters. After a few weeks of using the lowercase letters I put both letters out and they have to match the upper and lower case letters while putting them in order. I purchased my letters through a teacher supply store but any alphabet cards will work. After a few weeks of doing this as a whole group activity, I put it in a small group station.