Teaming up with Reading Buddies is always a worthwhile experience. For several years my fifth grade teamed up with Bonnie (Davis) Stevens’ second grade class for reading buddies and to produce a Silly ABC Book. Bonnie was always interested trying projects and believes in the Arts. She is one of the finest storytellers you’ll ever want to meet.
For this project, corrugated cardboard was cut into the block shapes of each of the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. These letters were chosen by the students who glued them on white construction paper. Using black and red tempera paint (I liked to limit the palette so the book looks coordinated but…) the student was allowed to paint their letter anyway they wanted as long as the letter wasn’t camouflaged. Some letters had to be peeled off the paper and glued again – the student just lost the letter in their stripes because the camera flattens the image.
Then fifth grade/second grade partners were matched up and brainstormed as many words as possible beginning with their letter. These lists were saved for later.
The next step was for the partners to create a silly sentence – these were basic alliteration (example: Brown bear baked black briskets for breakfast.). Pairs were combined and shared – each pairing tried to increase the silly sentences.
The final step for the students was to create photographic collages from objects beginning with their letter. I remember one plastic dinosaur appeared in three collages as a D-dinosaur, R-red dinosaur, and T-triceratops. On the letters’ facing pages you see the capital and lower case letters painted by the students across from the silly sentence, pictorial collage, and brainstormed words. Bonnie and I were always the letter X because that would be a difficult letter for the students to work on.
The final step for the teachers was to put all this together in a book form. Once I got it set-up it went pretty well and now I have a treasure of those class pictures smiling back at me any time I want to take an alphabetic trip down memory lane.
NOTE: All the student faces on the slideshow have been blurred to protect their identities. Their spirit and artwork still shine through.