Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Publishing an Alphabet Book

Joyce Sewell
Bay District Schools


Students use basic computer skills needed to publish individual books. The students do research on a subject of their choice and write an individual A,B,C Book on their subject.


The student establishes a purpose for reading (for example, entertaining; skiming for facts; answering a specific question).

The student reads and organizes information (for example, in story maps, graphs, charts) for different purposes (for example, being informed, following directions, making a report, conducting interviews, taking a test, performing a task).

The student understands the purpose of a first draft (for example, getting ideas on paper).

The student uses simple alphabetical and numerical systems to organize information.

The student uses electronic technology to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias).

The student recognizes the use of story structure used in children's literature (for example, patterns).


-Research materials: Encyclopedias, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Atlas, Science Books, and Library Books on animals, space, and other topics of interest
-Word processing program such as The Writing Center or Microsoft Office
-Computers, scanner, printer, enough discs for every child
-Binding materials are needed for this project. You can use construction paper and staples, folders with brads, or a book-binding machine which requires spirals and tag board


l. Collect pattern books, alphabet books, and resource books for research.
2. Train a small group of students to be computer helpers.
3. Prepare materials for publishing and binding two copies of each book. This gives each child a copy of their book and you have a copy to display in the classroom or library.
4. Make arrangements for an Authors' Day to give students an opportunity to share their work.


This is a follow up activity for making a Group A, B, C, book where each child was given a different letter of the alphabet to write a pattern and illustrate. Each child was responsible for making a page of the book. After the children had the experience of helping to make a group book, they were given the opportunity to write their own book.

1. Discuss what plagiarism is and how to follow copyright laws. This can be a seperate lesson where students practice rewriting text in their own words. Students should practice rewriting sentences until they are comfortable putting information into their own words. Have the students demonstrate their skills by writing on the board and allowing the other students to check for plagiarism.

2. Suggest to students that they can write about dogs, cats, animals, dinosaurs, plants, flowers, trees, space, etc. After they choose a subject, they find books and materials with which to do research about this topic.

3. Students select an A, B, C Book that has a pattern that they can follow when writing their A, B, C, Book. The student sticks to the particular pattern as presented in the book, focuses on their subject, and organizes their book from A-Z. Example: Z is for Zellie the Zebra who lives with her husband Zeb in Zanzibar.

4. Children do research, make plans, and write a rough draft in cursive to get their ideas organized on paper. Model an example for the students before they begin work on their own. (This takes about one week.)

5. During the second week, students use word processors. They make copies of their rough drafts and save them to disks.

6. In the third week, students use spell check and thesaurus tools as they proofread their work, and then they print a copy. (Sometimes several drafts are required before they produce an error-free copy.)

7. During the fourth week, students create the title page, author and illustrator page, dedication page, acknowledgement page, and book cover.

8. Students may need another week to complete illustrations, scan them into their text, and compile their books.

9. When students are ready to share their work with their friends and family, we have an Authors` Day where they shared their books with a kindergarten class or parents..


A rubric was used to evaluate the students individual books.

TERRIFIC TIGERS: These students are good researchers. They listen and follow directions and are able to do most of their work independently. They stick to the subject. They use a lot of details. They proofread and produce an A, B, C book on the computer with all parts. They make illustrations for each page of their book. They may have one or two errors.

TIGERS IN TRAINING: These students are becoming good researchers with a little assistance. They stay on the topic. They use some details. They proofread and produce an A, B, C book on the computer with all of the parts. They illustrate some of their pages. They may have three or four errors.

TIGER CUBS: These students are learning to do research with some assistance. They find material on the subject. They may use very little details. They proofread and produce an A, B, C book on the computer. They have a few illustrations. They may have five or six errors.

TIGER BABIES: These students do research with constant assistance. They need someone to guide each step. They have difficulty sticking to the subject and may not have many details. They proofread and produce an A, B, C book on the computer with some of the parts missing. They may have few if any illustrations. They may have seven or more errors.

FUTURE TIGERS: These students need to listen and follow directions. They need to stay on task and complete assignments. They refuse to make a book.


The Unit entitled Publishing a Group Book at this site will help prepare your students to do the Unit on Publishing An Alphabet Book.
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