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The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Alphabet Big Book

Objectives: initial sounds; object identification
Group Size: 4 to 24
Prep Time: >15 minutes
Interest Level: ages 3 to 9
Ability Level: beginning

Divide students into groups of four to six students, and supply each group with crayons, blank paper, magazines or catalogs, and scissors. Setting a time limit, allow each group to draw or cut out pictures of as any objects as possible which begin with the letter/sound assigned. During the last three to five minutes, the group should select its favorite items (best drawings, unique pictures, etc.) for inclusion in the class book.

No group may submit more than one of any item. In other words, one group cannot submit three apples for inclusion on the "A" page; if students within a group cannot agree on a particular selection, then they forfeit the right to submit that object. After all, group work should teach teamwork and compromise. However, you may wish to allow some overlap between the submission of various groups. For instance, it's probably better to allow three cars to appear on the "c" page than to create division among students by showing obvious preference for one group's work.

Final selections are mounted on letter size or larger paper (as many pages as needed for a given letter), allowing space for students or teacher to neatly print the name of each object which appears. If A4 [or letter size] paper is used, pages may be hole-punched and assembled in a standard two- or three-ring binder. If larger paper is used, holes may be punched at half inch intervals, then "sewn" together with heavy yarn. (This task is best completed by the teacher. ...)

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