How to make your own collaborative alphabet wall charts for your classroom that children will take ownership of and help improve student engagement.
A couple of years ago I spotted some child made alphabet charts from the classroom of one of my favourite educators.
I have wanted to make my own ever since.
For me, these alphabet wall charts made with images hand drawn by the students in the class were perfect but what I didn't realise was the ownership my class would take of this collaborative project.
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HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ALPHABET WALL CHARTSWe use the Jolly Phonics program as part of our literacy program together with a bit of PreLit thrown in.
After reviewing the phonogram of the day, we started brainstorm words that start with the same letter.
I'd write them on the whiteboard as we go underlining the initial sound.
When we needed more inspiration we would also watch the Storybots on youTube to see what words they have found that start with the letter we are looking at. My class loves them and it's another fun way to bring new vocab to the classroom as the Storybots are hilarious with just the right amount of silly.
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From there we re-read our list.
We talk about how some of the phonograms are making their second sound or a different sound because of their partner like shell, cheese or thick.
The children then choose some to draw.
Obviously there are more drawings for each page than I need so I have tried to make sure each child has their work appear on one of the posters as they are really enjoying showing them to their parents and I hear them talk about them during activity free time.
The ownership the children have taken of the project has genuinely surprised me.
And the list of words we have come up with each day has been growing as we go along, the children are now searching the environment to find new words to add to the list, they are taking more care with their drawing now they can see the first half of the alphabet up on the wall and are adding more details to their work.
The engagement they have shown has increased as it has become part of our morning routine.
And perhaps most importantly, the words they are offering up have meaning to them.
They are words they have seen, heard and lived.
They are words they have eaten, played, read in books, seen on TV.
They are their words, their names, their friends, their families so now when they look up at the alphabet chart stretched around our classroom they can relate to the subject material on a personal level instead of staring at a shop bought one and wondering what on earth a hamster is.
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