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Alphabetical Order Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is alphabetical order and how is it used to organize things? This lesson plan teaches students about the order of the letters in the alphabet and how this dictates alphabetical order. An activity engages the class physically as they place themselves in alphabetical order.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what 'alphabetical order' means
  • list the letters of the alphabet in order
  • place items in alphabetical order

Length

30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.2

Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.3

Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.4

Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.

Materials

  • A visual representation of the alphabet (e.g. letter cards hanging on the wall in order, a written alphabet on the board, etc.)
  • Index cards

Instructions

  • Pass out one index card to each student. Have each student write their first name in capital letters on one side of the index card.
  • When all students have written their names, ask the students to raise their hands if their name begins with the letter 'A'.
  • For those students who raised their hands, have them bring their index card and line up in front of the letter 'A' on display in the classroom.
  • Next, ask the students to raise their hands if their name begins with the letter 'B'.
  • For those who raised their hands, have them bring their index card and line up in front of the letter 'B' on display in the classroom.
  • Repeat this process of calling letters and lining the students up whose names begin with that letter until all students are standing in front of the letter that corresponds with the first letter of their first name.
  • Now, go to each line of students and physically place them in alphabetical order within the line (e.g. Aaron comes before Alice, and so on).
    • Why do you think you are standing in this order?
  • Explain to the students that they have been organized in alphabetical order according to the letters in their first names, using the letters on display to show the ordinal positions of each letter. Also explain that if two or more words begin with the same letter, the second letter comes into play when placing items in alphabetical order. If the second letter is the same, the third letter must be considered and so on.
  • Have students return to their seats.
  • On the board, show students examples of words that require using the second, third, and so on, letters in order to place them alphabetically. For example:
    • ball, bat, back, band
    • can, car, cat, call
  • Provide the students with the opportunity to try some of these on their own before proceeding.

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