Alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness is a key concept in learning how to read. I incorporate it into many storytimes, but it's always nice to do a storytime just completely focused on the ABC's. There are thousands of alphabet books out there, but many of them are oddly geared toward older children and have a whole paragraph (or page!) of text about whatever they choose each letter to stand for. But for preschoolers, here's my top favorites for ABC's.
Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman
I just discovered Creature ABC this summer and absolutely loved it. It has the upper and lowercase letters on one page, then a fantastic photograph of the animal (or concept) that it stands for. Simple. And some of the animals are not what you'd expect (N is for Nocturnal, for example). But still short and easy enough for the youngest to understand. And I really appreciate that it includes the lowercase letters as well.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
A classic, and one that many of the kids recognized and even had memorized. It doesn't spend too much time on each letter, but you do get to see all the letters - again both upper and lower case.
Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth
The ABC's here are not too obvious unless you point them out to the kids. The fly buzzes around people and objects starting with A and all the way to Z (where the fly gets squashed)!
Didn't use these, but here are some other good ABC books:
Stuff on My Cat Presents: Cats A to Z
This is a cute board book with photos of a cat with various objects (H is for Hat, etc.)
My Little Minnesota ABC
Another board book, with Minnesota interests and landmarks, but I think it would require more one-on-one explanation than I have time for in storytime.
Ok, good idea, poor execution here. I found out you can adhere foamies (in this case, foam letters) to jar lids and have instant cheap rubber stamps. Yay - enough stamps for all the kids! Unfortunately, I didn't have enough stamp pads for all the kids, so we used washable tempera paint. And this just ended up messy. With the proper stamp pads, though, this might be really cool. Maybe save this for next time we have an increase in our budget (feel free to laugh here).
This theme was used the week of November 19, 2010.
Next week we'll be talking about Thanksgiving!