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Lesson Plan

Our Community: Creating ABC Books as Assessment

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Our Community: Creating ABC Books as Assessment

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Devon Hamner

Devon Hamner

Grand Island, Nebraska


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



As students study the theme of community, they collect vocabulary words and key concepts. Students first talk about their community and then craft a definition of community. Students then examine several examples of the alphabet book genre, and a variety of print and online texts. With the information they've found, students create alphabet books—individually, in small groups, or as a whole class—using an online tool. Their books relate each letter of the alphabet with a fact, keyword or phrase from their research, providing both an artifact that can be used to teach others about the subject and a demonstration of the knowledge gained in the unit that can be used for assessment. This lesson plan focuses on the theme of community, but the idea can be adapted for any unit of study.

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Alphabet Organizer: Using this interactive tool, students can organize vocabulary words or other information alphabetically to create an alphabet chart or book.

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It is critical that our classroom libraries include expository texts, in addition to the typical narrative books. As Moss et. al. state, "Information trade books can help to fill the need for clearly written exposition that even the youngest readers can understand. Written by authors experienced in making the most complex concepts comprehensible, they offer children the opportunity to explore the real world. Writing in response to information texts, moreover, can provide an even more powerful means for enhancing children's understanding of expository texts" (420). Informational ABC books are an excellent resource to add because of their familiar structures. Expository ABC books "provide another excellent model for text innovations since children are often exposed to alphabet books at an early age. The textual structure, then, is comfortable and easily understood. Such books are easy to compile and offer a format with which children of all ability levels can experience success" (426). Using information ABC books as a framing text, then, can help guide students through a research project and related writing.

Further Reading

Moss, Barbara, Susan Leone and Mary Lou Dipillo. "Exploring the Literature of Fact: Linking Reading and Writing through Information Trade Books." Language Arts 74.6 (October 1997): 418-429.

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