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The Scarlet Letter Alphabet Book Project

Instructor: Sharon Linde
End-of-book projects can tend to get stale and boring. Use this engaging and fun activity to have students show what they know about ''The Scarlet Letter.'' This lesson walks you through the process of setting up the project and provides student directions.

Why Alphabet Books?

A fun project you can do with your students at the end of The Scarlet Letter is an ABC book. Students create a book in ABC format, using each letter of the alphabet as a page beginning with that letter. For example, students may choose 'Adultery' for the letter 'A' page, going on to explain the theme of the letter in the text or any other angle they choose. Because that's a pretty simple example, though, we suggest using it as your sample page and ask students to dig a bit deeper.

Students reading a complex and mature text such as The Scarlet Letter likely know their ABC's. Why ask them to create an alphabet book, then? For starters, it helps them view the novel from a different slant. Working with each letter of the alphabet pushes them to dig for vocabulary words and exercise their creative skills. The ABC format allows your students to choose style, structure, and theme for their book and use reference skills from those old-fashioned books like encyclopedias, textbooks, and other reference materials.

Methods Choice

You have a few options for how students generate and present their ABC books, depending on your time and available resources. Students could:

  • Use a technology tool such as Alphabet Organizer or Alphabetizer to get them started. After entering the info into the document, students can print pages and add artistic details.
  • You may also choose to kick it old school and have students create booklets on paper, then fold and staple. Investigate book binding skills such as lacing, or have students be creative with their binding choices.
  • Rhyming, anyone? Add elements such as rhyming, songs, poetry, or other devices to make the books more engaging. Tap into concepts you taught earlier in the year.
  • Students can tap into word play, using vocabulary with multiple meanings or powerful connotations to show understanding. For example, 'petrify' can either mean to make rigid or something that is stuck in a pattern, both of which apply to the text.

Finally, make sure you share alphabet book samples with students so they can 'see' what you're talking about. Visit the local library or the kindergarten classrooms and borrow some samples of simple ABC books. Bring in encyclopedias and reference materials and give students class time to rumble through them. Be available to ask questions and encourage creativity.

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