Do your students struggle with ABC order (arranging words in alphabetical order)? It may seem like a straightforward concept but it can actually be quite challenging for some students. Here are a few simple tips to help students master ABC order. These may seem pretty obvious if you just skim them but I challenge you read them carefully and you may just learn something new!
2. Include a LOWERCASE alphabet for students to reference while they work - it is really important for your visual learners to have an alphabet in front of them to look at while they work. When I first started teaching my own children how to do ABC order I gave them an uppercase alphabet to reference. My daughter would always write her words with all capital letters and I kept getting after her to use lowercase since you're not supposed to capitalize every letter of a word. Then I realized I was giving her an uppercase alphabet to reference so why would I expect her to use lowercase letters? So, I suggest using a lowercase alphabet if you want your students to write their words using lowercase letters. It is also important to match the alphabet case to that of the written words. It also makes sense to use a lowercase alphabet if the words students are arranging are written in lowercase letters (which I assume most are) as to not cause any confusion.
Let's try it!
In the example below, we begin by crossing out letters using a red colored pencil until we get to the words "like" and "let". Since both words start with the letter "L" we have to look at the next letter in each word (I suggest circling these letters to help students remember which letters they're comparing). Since we have to start at the beginning of the alphabet again to determine which word comes first (like or let), we will use a different color (blue) and cross out letters until we get to the letter "E" in the word "let". Once we figure out that "let" comes next in our ABC order we can also conclude that "like" follows "let". If we had more than one word left to order, we would continue on using our red colored pencil once again to cross off letters beginning at "L" and continue working through our list.
5. Make it fun - ABC order does not have to be a daunting task! Simply supplying the right tools (i.e. an alphabet, words on cards, etc.) can greatly increase the enjoyment of it. However, you don't have to stop there! Use engaging worksheets like these adorable and wacky animals for an added element of fun. Bonus! These are completely editable so you can use them with any word list!
Even though these tips may seem pretty simple, I hope you were able to glean some new ideas to implement with your students. Let me know in the comments below which one(s) you plan to try or if there are other strategies you have found success with in your classroom. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to enter the January giveaway if you haven't already!