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#2 Alphabetizing Dolch Words
Lesson Title/Subject/Grade Level
Alphabetizing Dolch Words
Grades 2 and 3
- 3" by 5" cards for each child (enough to write one of the weekly Dolch words on each card) or a ditto with the weekly Dolch words printed in squares that can be cut out
- a pencil or scissors for each child
- a rubber band for each child
- large tag signs (9" by 12") with one of the weekly Dolch words printed on each
- one black felt pen
At the conclusion of the lesson, the second/third graders will be able to put the weekly Dolch words in alphabetical order, to the second letter.
State Standard Addressed
In this section, the teacher cites the state standard focused on in the lesson.
The teacher will need to prepare the following prior to the lesson:
- Post the alphabet in the room.
- Divide the 3" by 5" cards into sets of 10, one set per child. Do not rubber band them yet or the children will play with the rubber bands all through the lesson. Or prepare a ditto with each of the 10 weekly Dolch words printed in a square that can be cut out by the children.
- Choose 10 Dolch words to focus on for the week. Choose words from your reading series that are being introduced, words that go along with the spelling list for the week, or words that are commonly used at your grade level. For this sample lesson, I chose 10 words from the 2nd/3rd grade list: "around, because, would, green, bring, buy, cold, made, by, sleep."
- On each of the 10 pieces of 9" by 12" tag board write one of the 10 Dolch words for the week in large, lowercase letters, using the black felt pen.
Review Previous Skills
Before the new lesson begins, the teacher briefly reviews any skills previously learned that will be needed in the new lesson. For example, in this lesson, review how to alphabetize by the first letter of a word.
Capture the students' interest by telling them that they will have a challenge in this alphabetizing lesson.
Tape the 10 weekly Dolch words, written on the tag board signs, to the chalkboard, mixing them up so they are not in ABC order. Explain that the students are going to help you alphabetize them. Underline the first letter of each word with the felt pen. Ask the students which word will come first. (The words are: around, because, would, green, by, buy, cold, made, bring, sleep.) Someone will choose "around." Place "around" at the far left of the chalkboard. Then ask the students which word will come next. Whichever "b" word is named, tape it beside "around." An argument will ensue as the children vie to name the "b" words. As they name them, place each one below the first "b" word that you taped to the board. Then, tell the children you'll come back to them in a moment. Continue placing the rest of the words in ABC order, taping them across the board (i.e.; cold, green, made, sleep, would).
Point to each word and have the children read them all together.
Then, point to the "b" words and say, "Hmm... are these in alphabetical order?" Ask the students if anyone can figure out how to make sure they are in order. Help them determine that they must look at the second letter in each word. Underline the second letter in each word.
Then, help the students place the "b" words in the correct order by looking at the second letter of each, (i.e.; because, bring, buy, by). Tell them that now all the words are correctly placed in alphabetical order.
Pass out the sets of 10 cards or the dittoes. If using the cards, have the students write one of the weekly Dolch words on each card and mix them up. If using the ditto, have the students cut out the cards and mix them up. Have the students read the words to a partner. While they do this, remove the tag board signs from the board.
Then, have the students spread their cards out on their desks. Take them through the same alphabetizing exercise you did above.
Then, have them mix the cards up again and do the exercise by themselves, while you walk through the room checking for understanding.
On another day, have the children alphabetize the words again, but add the words "big," "black," and "stop" to the activity. Check for understanding with the class.
Send the words home so the children can show their parents how they can alphabetize.
Add an alphabetizing exercise to be done as homework.
For closure, have a student explain what to do when one is alphabetizing, but several words start with the same letter.
Review should take place weekly and monthly, using different Dolch words.