Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Alphabet Animals

Elisabeth Coogle


Students create an encyclopedia of unusual animals, using a variety of resources to collect their information. Each student illustrates an animal and provides a brief description for each letter of the alphabet.


The student uses simple reference materials (for example, table of contents, dictionary, index, glossary).

The student writes legibly.


- Reference Materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and animal books
- Story paper (lines at the bottom and blank at the top)
- Crayons or markers
- Pencils
- Construction paper for the book covers
- Stapler
- Copies of rubric in attached file


-Collect reference materials
-Gather materials
-Copy assessment
-Make arrangements with the school librarian


Day 1
1. Visit the school library. Introduce the students to the reference section. Show students pictures and articles of animals. Point out how the animals are illustrated and written about. If students do not have prior knowledge about using dictionaries and encyclopedias, you will need to introduce these skills at this time. Remind students how to use the guide words to help them find what they are looking for.

2. Return to the classroom. Divide students into groups of

3. Give each group 26 pieces of story paper cut in half. Instruct students to write the letters of the alphabet neatly on the top of each paper. For example the first sheet will have Aa, the second sheet will have Bb, and so on.

Day 2
1. Divide into groups. Instruct each group member to take 6 letters of the alphabet or 6 pieces of story paper from the group's stack.

2. Explain that each student will be responsible for finding animals that begin with their letters. Then they will need to draw a picture of their animals and provide a short definition. Read and show some examples from the dictionary. (These will be briefer than the encyclopedia.) Encourage students to stay away from animals like cat, dog, horse, etc. Tell students you would like to see some animals you have never heard of before! Allow students time to work.

Days 3 and 4
Allow students time to work on their pages of the book. If students get finished, they may enjoy reading animal books or browsing through reference materials.

Day 5
1. Divide students into their original groups. Have students put their book pages in ABC order.

2. Gather the entire class. Go through each letter of the alphabet. Have the students help alphabetize the animals into one class book.

3. Divide the class book into 4 volumes. Staple a cover to each volume. Ask for volunteers to illustrate each cover.

4. Assess students using the attached assessment.


Each student's pages should be assessed according to the rubric in the associated file. Students who do not have at least 5 correctly drawn and labeled pages and/or students who haven't written legibly should have feedback for correction and be allowed to rework their pages. Refer them back to the research materials or pair them with other students who can help them form their letters correctly.

Students who are having trouble alphabetising their pages in the class book should also receive feedback.


You could change animals to careers, foods, plants, etc. This could fit a variety of age groups. Older students could add pronunciation keys, parts of speech, etc.

Attached Files

Scoring Rubric for Alphabet Animals     File Extension: pdf

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