Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book of the Day Activities: ABC Books

Books of the Week for July 12 - 18

Under each book you will find supporting activities and links. Feel free to comment and add your own activities and favorite alphabet books!

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

  • Have a taste test by tasting some of the foods and make a graph of class favorites.
  • Learn about the author Lois Ehlert by visiting the Reading Rockets Website.
  • Read Planting a Rainbow, also by Lois Ehlert, and talk about the differences/similarities.
  • Create watercolors or collages similar to Ehlert's illustrations in this book.

Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson

  • Find letters of the alphabet in the environment. If possible, take photographs.
  • Make an alphabet collage using various items (Popsicle sticks, straws, yarn, fabric, etc).
  • Have children make their own illustrations or use photographs to create their own alphabet book.
  • Learn about the Caldecott Medal on the cover of this book and read other books that have won the award.

Animalia by Graeme Base
  • Visit the PBS Kids Animalia site.
  • Break the students into groups or pairs and let each study one of the animals in the book. Let the groups share what they've learned with the rest of the class!
  • Introduce the students to alliteration by having them create their own silly sentences using one letter of the alphabet. Have the children illustrate their sentence and bind all of the illustrations into a class book.

The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

  • Take magnifying glasses and bug view finders outside and go on a bug search. Help children to learn how to observe bugs without harming them.
  • Visit the Kaboose you will find a list of kids' links about bugs and butterflies!
  • Become e-pals with a classroom in another part of the country or part of the world and learn about the bugs that live in their region. Sites such as E-Pals make it easy for teachers to connect with other teachers.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

  • Make a large coconut tree from butcher paper. Hang it on the classroom wall. Give each child a large cut out letter of the alphabet to decorate using various media (collage, markers, watercolors, crayons, etc) and hang the letters on the tree.
  • How many of your children have seen a real coconut? Purchase a couple and let them explore it. Make an experience chart that describes the children's initial reactions. Open the coconut and allow the children to taste test (remember to get parental permission first in case there are any food allergies). Learn about coconuts (How do they grow? Where do they grow? What can you make with a coconut?)
  • Here is an old favorite that a lot of preschool teachers love: Have children make their own individual trees - paint the child's arm brown and lay it on a piece of paper (this imprint will be the trunk of the tree); paint the child's hands green and allow them to lay them at the top of the "trunk" to make the "leaves" of the tree. To make the coconuts children can glue circles or paint their own coconuts. When the tree paintings dry, children can use alphabet stamps (or stickers) to illustrate the letters going up the alphabet tree!

Museum ABC by NY Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Plan a field trip to a local museum.
  • Purchase some canvas from an art supply store (make sure the canvas will work with "child friendly" paints like tempera) and allow children to create their own works of art.

Alligators All Around by Maurice Sendak

  • Learn the lyrics to Alligators All Around by Carole King.
  • There is a video called Really Rosie that has this book and a few others in animated form.
  • This book, like Animalia, uses alliteration. Compare the two books with your children and make more tongue twisters!
  • Learn about alligators! Compare alligators and crocodiles.

Other ABC Books Recommended via Twitter

Alligator Arrived With Apples: A Potluck Alphabet Feast by Crescent Dragonwagon recommended by @Katjewave

Aardvarks Disembark by Ann Jonas recommended by @Katjewave

Gone Wild by David McLimans (all of the letters are shaped by an endangered animal) recommended by @linkstoliteracy

K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae. The illustrations have other pictures for each letter. Recommended by @Katjewave


  1. "It's Crunch Time!",by Marie Brewer is a book for boys dealing with bad circumstances. It gives hope and direction for inner-city youth.(New book...published 4/09)See her website for excerpts! /

  2. Here's a Good one that I forgot to add: The Z was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg

  3. I love all these suggestions! There are more good ones you can order at

  4. Great suggestions. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is my favorite. I'm a Dr. Seuss fan, so I also love Dr. Seuss's ABCs (BIG A, little a what begins with A?) Both of these books are fun as read alouds - which is not always the case with alphabet books.



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