Co-Construction of an Alphabet

All over social media, I have observed absolutely stunning alphabets, created by and with children. I am always so impressed with the beauty, passion and detail that goes into these creations.

alphabet-loose-partsthis-was-a-parent-participation-activity-to-help-make-a-natural-alphabet-display-for-our-classroom

This was a parent participation activity to help make a natural alphabet display for our classroom By Brent Martin of My Journey in Early Childhood at Blogspot

natural-materials-alphabet

By Miss Donna Huang at OhMissDonna

Most early childhood classes and kindergarten programs work so passionately to naturally teach children the letters of the alphabet. I have noticed many classrooms  have begun co-constructing  the alphabet early in the year and this process amazes me, feeling so inspired by this I wanted to blog about it.

alphabet-collaborative-process-the-childrenThe Beautiful Stuff Project: Building an alphabet with found materials By R. Polichronopoulos at The Wonders of Learning

When children have meaningful experiences that connect to their own lives, they are better able to acquire important literacy skills, including phonemic awareness and alphabet knowledge (Neuman, Bredekamp, & Copple, 2000). Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children

alphabet

“Beautiful Stuff Co-Constructed Alphabet.” by Joanne Marie Babalis of Transform Ed

To begin I would like to untangle the process of “learning letters”–through the alphabet.

In the article “Letting go of ‘letter of the week'” by Bell and Jarvis (2002) they mention the importance of making all letters of the alphabet accessible authentically [to children] rather than introducing isolated letters and sounds sequentially. -Make It Meaningful! Emergent Literacy in the Kindergarten Years By Laura Logaridis, Katie Tranter , and Leslie Siegrist. The Early Childhood Educator Summer 2012

I feel as though when the children co-create an alphabet they can naturally begin seeing the connection between letters, sounds, appearance, or familiarity of print [in their name] and this process whether it be through loose parts, movement, clay, or paint deepens their understanding and makes the alphabet that more meaningful. The alphabet co-constructed with the children at the beginning of the year becomes an important tool for the children as they grow as writers. They begin to take ownership of the alphabet and encourages them to use it, as it is something special they’ve created.
stick-alphabet-display

“Make Your Own Stick Alphabet” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

“OUR alphabet is here!” Children’s excitement, once again, reaffirms the power in providing meaningful opportunities for student learning.

clay-alphabet-sorting-through-picturesclay-alphabet

From Lines to Letters at the Wonder of Learning by Anamaria Ralph

Alphabet2.jpg

Young children learn best when they are actively participating in the learning process and are encouraged to explore, interact, create, and play

touch-and-feel-alphabet

Tactile Alphabet Wall, by Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone

 

I am so inspired by the vibrant, and creative manner teachers use beautiful stuff to co-create the alphabet with children  and connect learning through play.

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