I have been so busy I haven’t had time to blog lately. I promised you a freebie and here it is! I love teaching with children’s picture books and sophisticated alphabet books are one of my favorites to use. If you haven’t seen the picture book Tomorrow’s Alphabet by George Shannon, you simply must get it. It starts out with A is for seed….. tomorrow’s apple, and follows that pattern throughout the book. It’s great for talking about change, making predictions of what the next page will be, and even bringing in cause and effect. I like to read the book to my students, and then I give it a new twist. I tell them we’re going to create a Yesterday’s Alphabet book! Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s much harder than you think! This activity is designed for students in grades 3-5. I have tried it with younger students, and it really is too difficult. The kids have to think backwards and that is difficult for some of them. Brainstorm with a class the different ideas you could represent for each letter. To do this, you have to think about what that object could have been earlier in time. For example with the letter A, you could say A is for calculator, yesterday’s abacus, or A is for oak tree, yesterday’s acorn. Certain letters are going to give them difficulty. I have included in this freebie a copy of a completed Yesterday’s Alphabet book, two planning pages, and templates for each letter of the alphabet for your students to create their own Yesterday’s Alphabet book. I let one student illustrate a letter to make a class book. Here are some sample images from the download. Each page is actually 2 pages so that kids have to turn the page to see the answer. I love to have them try to guess! This is a 57 page download that I hope you’ll love! Just click on the image below to download it from Google Docs! I’d love it if you would send me some pictures of your students’ books!
I have a little template you can use to make these if you would like. Just click on it to download it from Google Docs!
I love Debbie Miller’s books. In fact, I have them all, so it was only natural that I would purchase the 2nd edition of Reading With Meaning which was just released by Stenhouse. Of course, it is even better than the first edition. One of the things Debbie talks about is having each child have a “wonder box’ which holds wonder questions the children have written on index cards. Debbie uses the book The Wise Woman and her Secret as a springboard to getting your children to begin wondering. This book is the story of a wise woman who knows the secret of wisdom and a little girl named Jenny who learns that she knows the secret too. As Debbie says, the secret of wisdom is to be curious about the world, to open up your senses and see, hear, taste, touch, and smell life’s treasures.
I love that idea! How great it would be as a starting point for independent projects.
While reading about the wonder boxes, I remembered an absolutely fantastic web site which would partner with the wonder boxes beautifully. It is called Wonderopolis and if you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out. Every day they post a new wonder with lots of neat ideas. There’s an archive of all the wonders, so you don’t have to just use the current daily post. It has vocabulary, activities, links, videos and more. If you aren’t familiar with it, be sure to check it out!