Book It, Pt. 21: The Alphabet Comes to the Rescue
Books continue to be my heroes in
my school position, sometimes showing up to save me from ennui when I least
expect it. I was recently doing a pull-over sort of session in the literacy
center (the kindergarten class is nearby and my room is, well, not), and spied the
colorful cover of Alphabet Rescue, by Audrey Wood and her son, Bruce. After I
perused this fun little book, it became the centerpiece of many sessions with
young'uns recently. It addresses many and varied goals!
The book relates the story of a
lowercase alphabet who goes on vacation (its owner does, too - he's been
working all year on learning to read and write, and needs a break) to Alphabet
City, where they begin a quest to be community helpers! After an incident with
an uncontrollable fire hose and a dressing down by the capital letters, the
lowercases decide to rehab an old fire engine, which leads to some fun
This book seems made for SLPs, as
it has so many uses:
-The book can be used to develop
retelling skills and can be retold at the Action Sequence or Complete Episode
Level (the actions in the book seem particularly geared to sketching, and kids
can work on letter formation in the process).
-The text cleverly connects the
characters (letters!) to dialogue and events in the story, such that the "e"
shouts "Excellent!" etc. Similarly, the letters M, U, and D get mired with a
muddy car, and C A and T get stuck in a tree. These connections provide great
opportunities to work on phonological awareness.
-My favorite page in the book is
when the letters begin to overhaul the old fire engine. The array of activity
shows (but doesn't tell about) the letters all obtaining an item that is useful
in the process: b brings a bell, s gets a seat, etc. You could spend a whole session
working with kids on naming the different items and describing their functions.
-Finally, I realized that Alphabet Rescue pairs really well with
apps about community helpers, particularly Buildo Rescue and 2BME Firefighter, thus extending the context of the
book to apps that can be used to work on speech and language objectives!
Read more of Sean Sweeney at www.speechtechie.com