Friday, August 2, 2013

An Annoying ABC

Imagine teaching a classroom of 26 students or, if you're a homeschooling mom, having a crew of the same size  in your house. One cherub annoys another and sets off a domino reaction of blaming and crying, drooling, elbowing, and fuming.

On second thought, you don't need to imagine the scene. You are either watching it in real time with your own brood or you can see it described and illustrated in Barbara Bottner's An Annoying ABC.

Possible activities for students to do with this book:
Read the book and make observations about the text or illustrations.

List the verbs, either verbally or in writing.
         annoyed, blamed, cried, drooled....

Talk about alliteration (the repetition of initial sounds). Where does it occur?
        Flora fumes, Grover grabs, and Joshua jabs, for instance.

Cover an advanced topic. Read about transitive and intransitive verbs. Categorize the verbs from above in one of the two categories.
        Annoyed is transitive. The direct object is Bailey. (Poor Bailey!)
        Cried is intransitive. It has no direct object.

Review alphabetization. Write the names, one per index card, and shuffle. Put the cards in alphabetical order.

Talk about cause and effect.

Some of the sentences, such as "Bailey blamed Clyde," are simple. Young students can identify their subject and verb.

Possible writing connection:
Write a similar alphabet book, choosing an adjective other than annoying. The characters don't have to be children in a classroom. They can be animals or insects or professional athletes.  Follow Bottner's example and include alliteration.

If your student writes an alphabet book, give us a taste of it in the comments.

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