Alphabet Poem

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Language Arts, Writing, Editing, Writing Process

Grade 1- 3

Objective

Students use strategies to edit and publish written work.

Directions

Background for the Teacher

Definition: An alphabet poem uses each letter from either the entire alphabet from A to Z, or a portion thereof, to begin a line of poetry on a chosen topic.

Skills needed: an understanding of alphabetical order

Preparation: Reproduce one copy of each worksheet for each student. Cut out the alphabet squares. Gather together all of the remaining materials.

Lesson Plan
Prewriting
  1. Introduce alphabet poems by having students create an alphabetized list about a favorite topic. You may use the Alphabet Poem Brainstorming worksheet or create a list on the board with the entire class. Choose a topic such as "All About Me" for individual students or "Our School" for the whole class.
  2. Distribute one letter square from Alphabet Squares to each student. (Start the alphabet over again if you have more than 26 students, or have students work in pairs.)
  3. Tell the students to think of a word that starts with their letters, one that relates to the chosen topic. They may write the word on the back of their alphabet squares or dictate them to someone.
Drafting
  1. On the board or chart paper, write the class alphabet poem by calling each letter of the alphabet in order. The students, or pairs, can call out their words, or they may come up to write them on the board or chart on the appropriate line.
  2. When all the assigned letters have been called and the words added to the poem, read the poem aloud. Congratulate the students for having written a poem together. If the poem was written on chart paper, you may wish to have students create illustrations to be glued around the border of the poem.
  3. Generate a discussion among the students about how they created the poem. What did they do first? What did they do next? How did they think of words to fit? What did they do last?
  4. Distribute the Alphabet Poem Brainstorming worksheet to the students. Tell them to select a topic and to brainstorm words that relate to it.
  5. When students are ready, distribute the Alphabet Poem Draft worksheet. Have the students write their own alphabet poems on the worksheet. Younger students will need to dictate their poems.
Revising/Editing
  1. The students should share their alphabet poems with responders from class (this may be done orally in small groups for pre-readers). The responders' feedback can be recorded on the Response and Assessment sheet.
  2. Encourage students to make any changes they wish, after receiving feedback and before writing a final draft.
Publishing
  1. Post the class-generated alphabet poem, along with the illustrations, in a place where all the students can see it.
  2. Students may wish to use letters cut from magazines and newspapers to illustrate their individual, or partner alphabet poems. Copies of these poems would make a good classroom book for a writing center.
Content Connections for Alphabet Poems

Language Arts

Make a list of your classmates in alphabetical order. After each student's name, write a positive word to describe him or her that begins with that letter of the alphabet. For example: Steven-Smart, Kyra-Kind.

Math
Assign each letter of the alphabet a number in order. Create some math equations using letters instead of numbers, for example: A + A = B (1 + 1 = 2).

Social Studies
Choose a topic from the social studies unit you are studying. See for how many letters of the alphabet you can find a related word. Put the words in alphabetical order and you will have a social studies alphabet poem.

Fine Arts

Listen to lots of different music and make a list of all the different ways you might move to it, such as sway, hop, wiggle, etc. When you have enough words, arrange them in alphabetical order to write a musical movement alphabet poem.

Resources

Alphabet Squares (page 40)
Alphabet Poem Brainstorming worksheet (page 41)
Alphabet Poem Draft worksheet (page 42)
Response and Assessment (page 45)
old magazines and newspapers

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