Based on concepts in Little Lemon: Activities for Developing Motivation and Memory Skills by Betsy B. Lee, Learning Abilities Books, This lesson plan may be reproduced for classroom use only. All other rights are reserved. (Lesson plan Copyright 2000 Betsy B. Lee) Return to Lesson Plans or Catalog from Learning Abilities Books.

Alphabet Books - How to Make Your Own Book

Enrichment or Remediation:
Promote literacy. Improve reading readiness. Have fun.

Home or school.
This can be geared to the multicultural setting.
It is for classroom instruction or individualized instruction.

Two memory Principles:
Use association. Make a clear (unambigious) association.
Use memory cues. The best memory cues are ones which can be remembered easily! If you can't remember the memory cue, what is it worth?

Materials Needed:

  1. Magazines or other colored pictures which can be cut out (child's coloring book or sticker book)
  2. A composition book or sheets of blank paper folded and stapled together.
This lesson plan is about the content of the your children's own alphabet books. Details about simple or creative ideas for making self-published children's books are on the page titled Literacy and Making Children's Books at the Learning Abilities Books site.


In school or at home, the goal of helping multicultural children is reached better by selecting things in the present environment which all of them know, e. g. h is for hand or g is for Glyndale if that is that is the name of their school.

The individualized nature of this lesson plan helps all children. In some cases, they can even make their own books in their own languages.


Because this is most often used at home, the directions are for family use. Adapt this to other settings as it best meets your needs.

  1. Help your child select one significant picture for each letter of the alphabet.
    1. Look through magazines with your child.
    2. Use significant photos. For example, h might be your own house. The letter, p, might be for your dog named, Peaches. The first association your child makes of the picture is the dog's name, not the word, dog. It is an unambiguous association and a memorable memory cue. If it does create a problem, use a different picture such as p for potato.
  2. Involve your child in the process as much as possible.
    1. You might say, "p is for potato, pumpkin, and even for our dog, Peaches. Which picture would you want for your book?"
    2. Guide your child toward discovery. Here is an example using a page with a picture of an eagle. Say, "On this page of the magazine, there is a picture of something that starts with e. The word, eel, starts with e, but there is not an eel on this page. What is something on this page that starts with e like eel?"
  3. Include long and short sounds of vowels on separate pages.
  4. Include different sounds for the same consonants on separate pages, e. g. g is for girrafe and gopher.
  5. Be sure your child knows which part of the word you mean when you talk about the beginning sound of a word.
  6. Select just one picture for each sound in the book. From time to time make the association between the sound of the letter and its picture in your child's book and other words which start with the same sound.

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