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Learning ABC or the alphabet is considered as the beginning of literacy beside phonics. When you find older children learning ABC, you must think that they are struggling in literacy. In facts, there are many uses in real life of learning the alphabets outside the literacy requirements
First of all, alphabets are used for sequencing a lot of data. There are some organizing tools that need the ability to either placing data into the right alphabetical sequence or finding data based on the alphabetical sequence.
- When we use phonebooks to search some data, we need to be able organize our mind alphabetically. First, start from which first letter, second, third, etc. the faster our mind thinking alphabetically, the more efficient we use the time to get the data we want.
- Looking up the meaning, pronunciation, parts of speech, sentence examples of some words in the dictionary also needs alphabetical speed in thinking. When alphabetical sequencing speed is under the average, the longer time we need to search the data, and the more chance we to forget what we need to look up.
- In a nonfiction book, we use alphabetical sequencing method to search certain words or phrases in the index page. Having more advanced speed will help us to scan for the inquiry
- Alphabetical skill is also used in various list. One of the lists are attendant lists of meeting and clessroom. Movie lists or song lists are other examples for it.
- Using encyclopedia will be much more effective in both time and accuracy needed. Rather than lifting a bunch of encyclopedia of Americana or Britanica, it is better to know in which book your data alphabetically in
- Looking up books in the library also needs the alphabetical skill. In a really good library (should be generally), the fiction books spine numbers should be based on the first three letters of the author’s name. When there are several books having the same author, the first letter of the book title will be put into order attached with number (if there are same initial alphabet for the title). At least that is what I can remember as I had been a librarian teacher. In the nonfiction area, the Dewey Classification System is usually employed with the author’s initial letter
Some ways to practice alphabetical skills with older kids are:
- Sequencing. There are many things to practice sequencing. Words, family names, books in the bible, dragon name list, etc are some ideas to practice alphabetical skill. Sequencing can use worksheets, flashcards, real things, or even movements. Creativity won’t make kids get bored even when they learn similar thing.
- Looking up. Assign kids to look up the meaning of certain words in a dictionary or any other media using alphabetical skills. Giving limited time to do it is also a challenge. The faster somebody can find out the words, the more sophisticated alphabetical skill that he or she has.
Sequencing and looking up have some difficulty levels.
- First, the easiest one is a set of words with different initial letters.
- Next, a random words with some of them having similar couple of initial letters.
- Longer and more words to put into sequence are also more challanging tasks.
- Timer can be used to get them faster and think how to do the task more effectively
Do you have any other idea when adults need to use their alphabetical skills in daily life?
Have you got any suggestion to practice the alphabetical skill?