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All Aligned in Alphabetical Order

Getting words into alphabetical order is as easy as A-B-C with Crayola Color Switchers. Colorfully identify key letters to organize words with similar beginnings.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 Minutes or Less
  • Directions

    1. Make putting words in alphabetical order fun by using the second, third, or fourth letter in the word. Have students compile a list of words to put in order. Have them choose words they like, such as names, spelling words, or words from a dictionary. Give them a challenge! Have them choose words that start with the same letter or letters.
    2. Students list the words. Have them write words in random order on the left side of the paper with Crayola Washable Markers. (The right side will be where they will write the alphabetized list.) For students to remind themselves of the order of letters, have them sing the English ABC song to themselves or write the alphabet at the top of the page.
    3. Students color-code their words. TIP: Alphabetize the first letter of each word when all the words begin with a different letter. When words begin with the same letter, alphabetize by the second, third, or sometimes fourth letter.
    4. Students search! Students look for words that start with each letter of the alphabet, beginning with words that start with a, then b, and so on. If only one word begins with the letter, write it in the alphabetized list with a Color marker. If more than one word begins with the same letter, use a different Color Switchers color to write over the second letter in each of the words. Figure out the order of this group of words. Write them in order on the alphabetized list. If words start with the same two or more letters, write over the similar beginning letters in each word. Order the words by looking at the first letter that is different in each word. Add them in order to the alphabetized list.
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    VA: Use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Students may enjoy beginning this lesson by singing the alphabet song while a member of the class points to or holds up manipulatives for each letter.

    Students can prepare for this lesson by writing the alphabet at the top of their papers using an under color. As students generate words beginning with different letters for the teacher, students will write over each beginning letter of a word that is added to the class list. (Example: "bird" begins with "b"; students use an over color for "b".) Encourage students to generate as many words as possible that begin with different letters of the alphabet. Can the class over color all the 26 letters of the alphabet?

    Using a past or recent unit of study as a point of reference, ask students to generate a list of vocabulary words that are important to that unit of study. Students will write these terms on their papers using a self-chosen Crayola under color. Once the list is exhausted, students will be challenged to place these terms in alphabetical order. Students can work individually or collaboratively to complete this task.

    Using a recent whole class reading (novel, short story, or children's picture book where there is some character development), ask student groups to choose one character from the story and generate a list of adjectives that help to describe the character. Student groups will share their adjective lists with the class and see if anyone can name the story character.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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