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.
The first page 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 2-5. I have tried it with younger students, and it really is too difficult. The kids have to think backward 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! You can get your FREE copy of this resource in my The Teacher’s Toolkit, my FREE Resource Library. I’d love it if you would send me some pictures of your students’ books!