Are you looking for a fun way to introduce the alphabet to your younger ones? Or do your children need something special to do while you work with their siblings? Scholastic offers a hands-on alphabet program called The Big Book of Alpha Tales. It includes an entertaining story for each letter of the alphabet. My daughter loved the stories. We read them over and over each week. Meanwhile she was building her skills in phonemic awareness!
We purchased The Big Book of Alpha Tales, which includes all 26 stories. One could, instead, purchase the complete Alpha Tales boxed set of 26 books. Our family found that the Big Book, meant for educators, included all 26 stories and was economical and more than adequate.
The BIG BOOK OF ALPHA TALES contents:
- A Note to Teachers – discusses the importance of recognizing letters quickly and accurately. This skill comes with lots of practice. Research shows that kids who do this have a much easier time learning their sounds.
- Teaching Tips
- A simple alphabet recognition assessment
- Quick and easy Activities.
- And 26 alphabet stories with a cheer for each letter
We read one “book” each week, which quickly became my daughter’s favorite homeschool activity! “When can I read my letter book?” was her first request on Mondays. She loved the funny alphabet stories, which she almost memorized. This gave her lots of practice in recognizing the sound of each letter and also groups of letters.
Each letter story also came with a “cheer” as mentioned above. The cheer usually rhymed. Great for circle time, after doing calendar, or to share with dad at dinner time!
Here is the Cheer for Letter “A”:
- A is for alligator and acorns on trees.
- A is for “Ah-choo!” when you sneeze.
- A is for apples baked in a pie.
- A is for airplane up in the sky.
- Horray for A, big and small-
- The most awesome, amazing letter of all!
Then the “Book for Letter A” goes on to tell the story of The Adventures of Abby Alligator. Each alphabet story is formatted in the same way and provides practice with the following early reading skills:
- Letter recognition skills.
- The sounds of each letter.
- Phonemic awareness, ie, learning that words are made up of a series of sounds.
- Making sure that your child really knows her ABC’s, which is key to early literacy.
The Alpha Tales stories were so fun and even funny, that they spoke to my daughter in a truly meaningful way! This gave her practice in some great pre-literacy skills, such as learning to follow the print as it is read from left to right. And she quickly learned to recognize each letter and its sound.
If you are looking for some rib-tickling ways to introduce the alphabet and teach phonemic awareness, I recommend The Big Book of Alpha Tales. For more information, please go to the teacher store at www.scholastic.com.
Betsy lives near Puget Sound with her husband and teen daughter, who has always been homeschooled. Betsy is an eclectic homeschooler, who enjoys hiking, nature walks, and photography as a family. She is also a published writer of stories for young children. Betsy is currently offering brief consulting to families who would like to discuss a homeschooling issue. For more information please go to her page at Jane Sproger, and send her an IM.