Teaching Tips Alphabetical Order

When you read about alphabetical order, it is quite possible a little song flows through your mind. “A,b,c, d, e, f, g….” works, but it takes a long time to sing it through with each problem. Teach your students alphabetical order using a few games and activities that will help them learn.

The middle: Teach your students that m and n are the two letters that are found in the middle of the alphabet. This is a guide that will help them figure out which letter comes first.

Which comes first: Use this game. Challenge your students in small groups. Write the letters of the alphabet on craft sticks. Place them upside down in a paper cup. Have two children pull out two letters. The first person to identify which letter comes first gets to keep both of the sticks. Go through the entire cup. The child with the most sticks wins the game. When they are done, mix the sticks up and put them back in the cup for another game. This game will work with two to four students. 

Order up: Write all of the letters on individual index cards. Pass the cards out evenly to students. Leave out any odd cards. When the cards are passed out, say go. The students turn the cards over and try to be the first child to put all of his cards in the correct order. Once the children catch on, use cards with words on them to get them used to putting words in alphabetical order.

Matching: Give the students a sheet of paper that has a list of words that each begin with a different letter on the top. On the bottom of the paper, place each letter of the alphabet that you have used. List them in the correct order. Have students write their words in the correct order.

Move it: Teach your children about alphabetical order by using their own names. Write their names on name tags and let them wear the name tag. Ask your students to line up in alphabetical order to go to recess. Help them do it correctly the first two time. After they have the order down with their first names, switch to their last names and let them try to do it on their own.

Graph it: Give each child a piece of graph paper. Have them write all of the words, living up the first letters on the left of the paper. With a strip of construction paper, teach students how to move, letter by letter, across the page, comparing the letters. This is an excellent way to introduce second and third letter alphabetical order.

For more ideas, check out this slideshare for printable pages. Some students will catch on right away, but you may need even more ideas for others. Alphabetical order will help your children use a dictionary, a phone book and other resources that come in alphabetical order.