Comprehension is easy as A. . .B. . .C

If you are wanting your students to STOP and THINK about their reading (instead of racing to finish), then ABC books are a simple solution!
ABC books are not just for primary kiddos! At the beginning of a novel, I give my students an ABC template. As they are reading & discussing, they fill in words either directly from the story (lower knowledge level) or words that describe specific events or characters in the story (higher level thinking).  
This is so great for differentiating for your varying levels of comprehension!
I especially love reading the pages where the student really had to think outside the box (or the book!) to find a word, especially X and Z!
"X" page reads: Xenophobia means fear of something foreign. Anita was scared to go on The Pride of Nantucket, but soon she got used to it and lost xenophobia.

After finishing reading the book, students write a final copy of their ABC book. Cut 8-1/2"x11" printer paper in half and 9"x12" manila tag in half for the cover. Each book needs a cover and 7 sheets of paper. Have students make a title page, begin writing capital "A" on the next right-hand page, then use front & back: 26 letters will take you to the last page). Fold in half and use a long-arm stapler to staple book together. 

Students write the letter and word at the top, illustrate in the middle, and write an explanation of the importance of the word to the story on the bottom of each page.  
A self-grading rubric is also included. (The kids love grading themselves!) You can download your copy of the  ABC template here.
Be sure to click on the buttons below for more fantastic teaching ideas!


  1. What a clever idea. I especially like it when kids begin to think outside the box.

    1. Thanks, Deann! Yes, some of my students really took "original words" to heart & truly worked so hard to come up with words that were not too obvious from the book. They did a great job!

  2.! I am impressed someone came up with that one! Such a great idea. I never would have thought to use ABC books with 4th grade, but it's fantastic. Thanks for sharing!