LESSON PLAN Alphabet Books - How to Make Your Own Book
Purpose: Enrichment or Remediation:
Promote literacy. Improve reading readiness. Have fun.
Setting: 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?
Magazines or other colored pictures which can be cut out (child's coloring book or sticker book)
A composition book or sheets of blank paper folded and stapled together.
An important reading readiness skill is to associate the beginning letter of a word to a specific sound. Children need to generalize this letter and its sound to many words.
However, it helps to anchor a clear (unambiguous) association with
a memorable memory cue when they are taking their first steps in learning.
Sometimes, efforts to use association and memory cues fail because the association is unclear and the memory cue is forgotten.
We can tell children that c is the beginning sound for candy,
cake, and carrots; but we are asking them to anchor the memory
cue to several words at once.
Let the help pick just one of the three as the anchor such as
c is the beginning sound for cake. Then use this anchor
as a reference point to generalize this to candy, carrots, etc.
We need to explain that this letter makes two sounds. They can help pick
the word for a memory cue or anchor such as
c is the beginning sound for cereal.
For some children, needing one stable memory cue is not a big problem.
For others, the lack of a reference point such as a memory cue
is like throwing out an anchor without the rope attached to anything. It is like having someone tell you five different routes to drive to a new place in an unfamiliar area.
Examples of ambiguous associations and forgotten memory cues:
One published alphabet strip shows a parrot for the letter, m. Children are to associate this with macaw! Many children and adults would say, parrot.
The same strip has a cardinal for b! Here, b is for bird rather than cardinal. Many children and adults would say, redbird or cardinal especially if they had learned that this alphabet strip uses m for macaw instead of p for parrot.
The same strip has two unfamiliar South American animals.
In our elementary school, neither teachers nor students
could identify these unusual animals. A good memory cue brings the word to mind easily. Perhaps, this was to help multicultural children. This lesson plan presents a better solution for multicultural children including children who are not from South America.
The rule of association is to link what you need to remember to
what you know. You don't link one thing which you don't know to something
else which you don't know. The memory cue needs to be memorable and clear.
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.
Help your child select one significant picture for each letter of the alphabet.
Look through magazines with your child.
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.
Involve your child in the process as much as possible.
You might say, "p is for potato, pumpkin, and even for our dog, Peaches. Which picture would you want for your book?"
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?"
Include long and short sounds of vowels on separate pages.
Include different sounds for the same consonants on separate pages, e. g. g is for girrafe and gopher.
Be sure your child knows which part of the word you mean when you talk about the beginning sound of a word.
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.
Return to the top of the page.
Plans from Learning Abilities Books. http://www.gate.net/~labooks