Forty Best-practices Instructional Activities
Students reflect on what they have learned about a topic and then begin
listing words that summarize key ideas. Using the collected words they
create a book called “AlphaAntics.” In this alphabet book,
readers learn about the topic by reading creative sentences such as,
“P is for manatee.... because tracking devices are attached to
While studying eagles, students might decide that wingspan,
protected status, and gliding are key words. With the words they write
“AlphaAntics:” “W” is for eagle, because they
can have up to an eight-foot WINGSPAN. “P” is for eagle
because the law PROTECTS them. “G” is for eagle because
they GLIDE on rising thermals.
1. Invite students to create an “AlphaAntics” picture book
for young readers by writing and illustrating the fact sentences. To build
suspense and encourage readers to make predictions, have your young authors
write the first half of the sentence on one side of a page (P is for manatee
because....) and the second half of the sentence on the back of the page
(...tracking devices are attached to their PEDUNCLE). Readers try to guess
the ending before turning the page. Encourage students to share their
published books with other classrooms.
2. An adaptation of this activity can be used as a Pre-reading experience:
Write five or six “AlphaAntics” sentence starters on a chart
(P is for manatee because....). Invite students to predict words that
could be used to complete the sentence. Record all of their responses.
Read the text. Complete the sentence starters with words from the selection.
Reading Strategies: Identify Main Ideas
and Support Details, Summarize Information, Paraphrase Ideas, Synthesize
Information, Build Vocabulary, and Draw Conclusions