Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alpha Betti by Carlene Morton, illustrated by Margeaux Lucas

Betti is a girl with a problem. Her room is a disaster area and her mom wants it cleaned up. Sadly, stuffing everything into her closet doesn't really work out so well--making things even harder to find and mornings even more frantic. This story follows Betti through a lesson at her Media Center where she embarks on a scavenger hunt through fiction books, encyclopedias, and the unabridged dictionary. Armed with her newly found skills in alphabetizing, Betti is ready to tackle the mess in her room--and maybe more--with the help of her trusty dog, Gravy.

This story works well for me as a Library Lesson; however, I do not read the story straight through. When the story refers to the fiction section and the authors Beverly Cleary and Andrew Clements, I point out some of the titles by those authors in our own library. I also ask my students the answers to Betty's scavenger hunt questions before she finds them herself. There are several opportunities for reinforcing other lessons, including the use of contractions,compound words, possessives, and different uses for quotation marks. When Betti gets an idea from her "ABC Super Hero" button, it's a good chance to ask students to predict what her idea(s) might be. After the story, I use the lesson as a jump-off point for a game that allows us to practice ABC order and leading into the Dewey Decimal system.

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