Arizona Alphabet Book
In the classroom/library:
Grade Level: 5th
Overview: In this lesson, students will make associations with places
around Arizona using alliterations, maps, and artifacts.
Purpose: To acquaint the students with places around their state in
a memorable fashion. Associations will include cultural variations such
as food and art, historical, geographic, or natural features in the
flora and fauna. Vocabulary will be introduced through alliterations
about each alphabetized area.
1.) Acquire personal references for 26 areas around the state.
2.) Identify and use alliterations
3.) Become familiar with new vocabulary words.
Geography 3SS-E1. Demonstrate understanding of the physical and human
features that define places and regions in Arizona, including the use
of geographic tools to collect, analyze, and interpret data, with emphasis
PO 2. explaining and using map titles, symbols, scale, cardinal and
intermediate directions, and elevation on maps of Arizona
PO 3. locating and comparing the three landform regions of Arizona--the
plateau, mountain, and desert regions--according to their physical features,
plants, and animals
PO 4. the location and description of the important physical features
in each landform region, including the Grand Canyon, Colorado River,
and Mogollon Rim
PO 5. the location and significance of the important human features
of Arizona, including those in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Yuma
Ell Standards ELL V
The student will:
acquire English language vocabulary and use it in relevant contexts.
analyze text for expression, enjoyment and response to other related
1.) Arizona Alphabet Book by Donna Dee Schmid-Belk and illustrated
by Michael Ives.
2.) Arizona maps
Two copies of the Arizona Alphabet Book, various artifacts, one
garbage bag, two maps of Arizona, blackboard, one set of bullhorns,
post-its, and blank maps of Arizona (one per student).
"We're going to have some fun getting to know some places around Arizona."
Here, I have two maps of Arizona." Point out and describe the nature
of the desert, pine forest, upper grassland-desert plateau, and Grand
Canyon area on the maps. "We'll be using these maps and alliterations.
Would someone like to tell me what alliteration is?" Make sure the class
has a clear definition. Write the word alliteration on the board. Explain
tongue twisters. Ask for any tongue twisters students know and have
class practice them. "When we are done we will make our own alliterations."
Explain that the purpose of a tongue twister is to "mess it up". In
this case it is okay to mess up and laugh at each other. We want to
Explain how all people learn from building on what they already know
with association." We will learn ways to remember these places, by building
associations of information." We can remember a lot about Arizona today,
and use this information in the future, as we live and travel in our
state. "When the book is done we will play a game together to see how
many places we remember. You may see how you remember these places."
Students will learn about alliterations and how to use them. Students
will identify some vocabulary words in the text, learn their meaning
and take a match-up quiz.
Two maps of Arizona are posted on the board. One has Post-its with the
corresponding letter on the place in Arizona, and one does not. Hand
out a copy of the map of the back cover of the book to each student
for reference, and as a visual cue. This map is without the names listed.
"At each page, I'm going to read from this book. Then each of you, in
turn, will get to read the same part." "Then, I will ask for a show
of hands if you know about this place, or maybe you have been there.
I will give you associations about these places." "After reading your
page, you will put the letter on the map showing where the place is.
Everyone will then write down the name of the place on your maps that
are on your individual sheets." "There are ten vocabulary words (on
the projection screen). You will be tested on five of them tomorrow.
We will choose these five words together, today. You must speak up if
you see or hear one of these words as we read."
Start with the letter "A" as you are holding the book for the class
to read and see the picture. Invite one student to read this same page
in turn. Encourage a bold expression. Give the letter "A" post-it to
the student and have it put on the empty map, in the appropriate position.
Ask, "Has anyone been to Alpine? What do you see in the pictures that
tells you something about Alpine? Can you imagine the smell of Pine
trees?" Does anyone else see any clues about what it is like in Alpine?
Give informational and geographical anecdotes to give reference/associations
to the place. Have the students write the name down on their sheet maps
by the corresponding dot. Point to the letter on the map and have the
students repeat, "Alpine." Ask, "Did anyone see or hear one of the vocabulary
words? Ask for understanding.
Check for Understanding:
Does everyone know how we will be doing this, now? At least twice during
the lesson, stop and review with the children, by pointing at the letters
on the map, and having them state the name of the place, together.
Continue with each letter on each page. Place the bull horns next to
your head for Lochiel. State, "If the big bull looks down he will say,
'You are low child.'" Express the Prescott page by nearly spitting the
"P" sounds. Put a piece of plastic under the chin of the reader student
and have another hold the book away so they "don't get any on themselves,
or the book." Explain the alliteration is about the sounds, not just
the letters. Explain that Prescott has a big real-estate industry and
they have exceeded their lawful supply of water. Prescott needs water,
and don't have….
Collect students completed map sheets. Divide the class into six groups.
Each group will have a turn to identify each place on the map, as the
instructor points at it, until one group does. The identifying group
then will receive the post-it letter from the map. Going to the next
group, the process is repeated. The group who collects the most post-it
The class will now create an alliteration about the book and the lesson.
Give two clues. In this case, "Donaldson", and bring out the word "Dolphins"
to start the process on the white board. Before the rest is done, have
the students take out a paper and pencil, and write a sentence about
the book. Instruct them to make a list of alliterations that maybe used
on the group project. Then, bring them back to the alliteration on the
board to complete it. Have students review the vocabulary list and vote
on most desirable five words. Use match-up quiz the next day.
Remind students of the possibility of visiting or reading about these
places around Arizona someday. They have now built some associations
with these place names. Have them whisper the definition of alliteration
within their groups. Remind them about the vocabulary test and make
sure they have the words written down. Remind them if they have any
questions about the vocabulary they can use a dictionary. Remind them
that their work can't be used on the Southwestern Children's Literature
Website, unless they have turned in their permission slips. Remind them
to write a review or opinion of the book.
Observation will be noted of student's participation in the reading.
Participation will show them actively using and discovering the value
of the associative strategies. Vocabulary matching test will receive
a grade. Student response in periodic review will be noted. A competitive
game, between student group tables, will decide a "winner" with scores
tallied. Students will create as a class, alliteration about their response
to the book. Individual alliteration sheets will be created to facilitate
this process. Students will label each place on sheet maps.
The following week the students may create and present five alliterations
after dividing up into three groups, the southern colonies, middle colonies,
and New England colonies. If the creation of alliterations on day two
becomes too difficult, then full class participation can be utilized,
with individual alliteration sheets. Participation will show students
actively using and discovering the value of the strategies from previous