I gather the students to the rug area and show them a short clip of Dr. Seuss's ABC on our smartboard. I like to use some of the multimedia tools, like the smartboard so that the students can hear the voices of readers other than myself. I will reread this book to the class so that they can hear my voice as well.
Boys and girls, I would like you to come over and join me on the rug. Please face the board so we can watch a short clip of a video about one of Dr. Seuss's books, Dr. Seuss's ABC. I want you to pay particular attention to the rhythm of the way the narrator reads the story. I also want you to look at how the author chose words that went with the letter that they talked about on each page.
Did you see how the narrator from the video read Dr. Seuss's words and there was a pattern to the way the book was written? Now I am going to read the story to you all the way through so that you can hear the repeated pattern again. This will be important because you will be writing your own books, but instead of writing the whole alphabet, you will be spelling out your names.
I read through the book: Big A, Little a. What begins with a? Aunt Annie's Alligator. A...a...A. When children have an opportunity to play with the language, they can begin to recognize how words and letters are represented in literature and in their writing. In helping the students find words that start like their names, I let the children "write the room" or in other words, they get a clipboard and a pencil and walk around the room finding words to go into their stories. It allows the children an opportunity to get up and move, as well as making letter identification and sight word recognition.
The next thing we are going to do is to write a book in the style of Dr. Seuss's ABC. I have made each of you a book using the letters from your name. For example, Joshua's book has each of the letters from his name. Your job is to find three words in our classroom that starts with each letter of your name. Joshua will need to find three words that start with J. He can find these words from anywhere in the room. Remember when you "wrote the room"? You took a piece of paper and you found words that I prompted you to find. You will do the same thing, but with your book pages. When Joshua finishes the letter J, he will work on "O". When you have all the words written down, you will illustrate your book to match the words you found. If you get stuck on a word, I will help you or you can ask our parent volunteer to help, too.
Once the children have written and illustrated their ABC book, we invite former teachers and parent volunteers to come to our school for Listening Friends Day. The children read their books to these adults and get some really positive feedback. Throughout the day, the children have several opportunities to read and discuss their books. The more the students can share these books and read them aloud, the stronger their reading skills become. Frequent reading practice strengthens fluency and understanding.