Alphablocks is a literacy strategy that can be used as a before,
during, and/or after reading. Students use the organizer to
capture words, phrases and illustrations from A to Z that
pertain to a topic, big idea, or theme. What is captured may
be explicitly or implicitly stated in the text. Each block may
have more than one word or phrase listed. It is also important
to also note that each block is not required to have a word or phrase.
- Provide students with an Alphablocks template or ask them to sketch one into their notebooks.
- If used as a prereading strategy, students will add words, phrases, and/or illustrations that pertain to a topic, big idea, or theme. The purpose is to prepare for the reading activity by activating related schema and building anticipation
about the upcoming topic of study.
- If used as a during reading strategy, students will add words, phrases and/or illustrations that pertain to a topic, big idea, or theme as it relates to the reading assignment. The purpose is to assist students in focusing on the topics, big ideas, or themes of the assigned reading.
- If used as an after reading strategy, students will add words, phrases and/or illustrations that pertain to a topic, big idea, or theme as it relates to the reading assignment. The purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to analyze what they have read and demonstrate understanding of the topics, big ideas, and themes.
- How did you decide which words and/or phrases to put into the Alphablocks?
- How did Alphablocks help you make sense of the big ideas from the text?
- What advice would you give to another student using Alphablocks for the first time?
- Create a reusable class-sized Alphablocks organizer on a bulletin board or chart paper. Provide students with sticky notes to add language and illustrations to the graphic organizer before, during, and after reading an assigned text.
- Integrate Writing to Learn and speaking and listening opportunities in conjunction with the Alphablocks strategy.
- Have students work in groups, assigning specific letters of the alphabet to each group member, narrowing the individual student’s focus, then providing space for students to share their collected terms with one another.
Students add words, phrases, and/
or illustrations that pertain to a
novel’s theme during reading.
VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS
Students add Tier 3 vocabulary words
that are specific to a unit of study then
use the words in an extension vocabulary
activity such as an Interactive Word Wall.
Students keep track of key terms relevant to the Civil War.
Students use Alphablocks throughout a unit to add Tier 3 vocabulary words. Extension could be Interactive Word Wall.
After developing a conceptual understanding of a Tier 2 or Tier 3 vocabulary word, students add the word to their science notebook and construct a visual representation of the word.
HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Students add Tier 2 vocabulary words that
are found across multiple disciplines and then
interact with the words in an extension vocabulary
activity such as List-Group-Label.
Students use Alphablocks to keep track of key terms they need to know and remember for travel to another country.
CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION
In a culinary class, students use Alphablocks to add key terms related to their unit.