Kids love “All About Me” activities! They are great for the first week of school. Incorporating alpha boxes is super simple, yet extremely powerful. One of the best ways to introduce them is to use them for a back to school “All About Me” activity!
Grab an “All About Me” alpha box here!
Both primary and intermediate students alike eat this up. I ask students to fill it with words that relate to their lives. It gets filled with family names, street names, cultural words, etc. that pertain to that particular student. I LOVE this activity because the finished product serves as a personal spelling word wall that student can reference throughout the year.
You can use alpha boxes for just about anything! They can be used to preview a book, reflect on a topic, or review before a test. In primary grades, students can fill them with key vocabulary from the text. In the upper grades, students can use them to summarize information, by choosing the most important word from a text that they’ve read that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Alpha boxes in action (throughout the year)…
I usually use them to introduce a new unit. Students independently attempt to fill the alphabet boxes with one or more words pertaining to what they already know about the topic. After 5 – 10 minutes of work time, the students pair with their desk neighbor. They share ideas, and add to their boxes. After another 5- 10 minutes the pairs form groups of four. I call this “squaring” up, and the last conversation ensues. Then, we quickly run through the alphabet as a group. They love to shout out their ideas! It is also a good time to throw in any words that go with the unit that no one thought of. This activity also works well review. It’s a great way to see which of the vocabulary words the kids are remembering.
In cased you missed them, here’s a great set of grade specific back to school packs to help your first week run smoothly: