Welcome to our mini teaching guide on alphabetizing!
Alphabetizing is an essential literacy skill, and the resources in this post will make it easy for you to teach it. Let’s dig in!
Even with modern technology, alphabetizing is used in many areas of our lives. In fact, you’ve probably used your alphabetizing skills this past week without even realizing it. Maybe you looked up a friend’s phone number in your contact list, or maybe you’ve looked something up in a book index.
Here are some other common uses of alphabetized lists:
Children go through four stages when learning to alphabetize.
Here are hands-on activities and tips for each stage.
Play with Our Colorful Caterpillar
This adorable hands-on activity promotes letter recognition and builds pre-reading skills. And as an added bonus, you can use the letter cutouts from this activity for some of the additional activities described in the tips below!
Follow these tips to help reinforce Stage 1 alphabetizing skills:
Once a child has mastered putting the letters in alphabetical order, teach him that words can be alphabetized, too.
Play “Sort the Seeds”
Sorting the seed packets in this hands-on activity from All About Reading Level 3 is a fun (and colorful!) way to practice alphabetizing words according to the first letter.
In real-world applications, your child will come across multiple items that start with the same letter (for example, the names of children’s authors Sendak, Seuss, and Silverstein). The next step is to look at the second or third letter to alphabetize them correctly.
Play “Who’s Coming to My Party?”
Alphabetizing to the second and third letters can be tricky—but not when you can play “Who’s Coming to My Party?” from AAR Level 4. This engaging activity will make learning this skill seem more like a party than a lesson!
When your child is more advanced and is consistently able to alphabetize words to the second and third letter, you’ve reached the fourth stage of alphabetizing. Now your child will learn what to do with last names such as McAfee, Macauley, and O’Kearney; book titles that start with The; and numbers.
Download the Common Rules for Advanced Alphabetizing
Although alphabetizing is more difficult at this level, this handy quick-guide takes all the guesswork out of applying more advanced alphabetizing skills.
Remember, alphabetizing is an important skill, but it doesn’t have to be a boring one. With these tips, your child will be alphabetizing like a pro in no time!