When teaching children Concepts of Print I often am looking for different ways to support students learning. One of the easiest ways for pre-readers is to use simple alphabet books.
There are three different ways we use them in our classroom.
Small Group Lessons
Small group lessons help us teach children learn about a specific topic to prevent them from being overwhelmed or bored. We focus on one letter a day in small groups. Usually there are 3-8 kids at a time in this group depending upon the time of the school year. At the end of whatever activity we have taught, we read the alphabet book together to ensure the students know each of the words in the book and so that they can become independent readers with this book in our classroom library.
As students trickle into the classroom we often put books out that children can read quietly. This allows them to read to each other and it gives us time to be able to check in with students who need our support in the morning.
Our classroom library includes these books and we often see children go and read them throughout the day as they know they can successfully read these books and are proud to show off that they can read!
We also use them as a part of our home reading program at our school for pre-readers. I have printed them on card stock for this program in two different colors. One color of paper is printed in black and white ink and the other is printed with colored ink. I find some kids prefer colored pictures and others don’t. By printing the books this way, they know what type of book they want to pick immediately.
Children need continual modelling from parents at this stage, but developing some skills to be able to read is possible at this stage too!
8 benefits of using alphabet books:
1. Affordability. These books are cheap compared to big publishing company books. I cannot afford to replace books from publishers on a regular basis.
These books are well loved every year in my class. I honestly appreciate that I can simply print another book or set, whenever it is needed, and I don’t have to buy a whole set just to replace one broken or damaged book.
2. They help children focus on one letter at a time.
3. Children learn that many words start with each sound.
4. Students can easily learn that pictures match the words.
5. They are great for ELL students who are learning the language to read repetitive books to help
solidify their knowledge of simple objects.
6. Many beginner reading strategies can be taught using alphabet books. Almost all of the following reading strategies can be taught simply using an alphabet book. Click here to read a bit more about these strategies or click on the image below to check them out in my TpT store!
7. Children learn that reading is a social activity as they read with their peers, see others read and read to their family
8. Children develop confidence as they become successful at reading these books. Simply put, this is one of my biggest joys from being a kindergarten teacher!
I now have a digital version of the paperback copy of these books. Click on the images to check them out!