Instructions, Ideas, and Assembly Methods
printable alphabet mini books presented here work in conjunction with
the Alphabet Activity Worksheets
(illustration below). The small sticker images at the bottom of the worksheets will be used to complete the mini-book. The completed mini-book pages can also be used as flash cards
instead of assembling a book. The materials are appropriate for older toddlers, preschoolers
and early elementary.
The mini book format is with no text for the letter words. Blank lines are added to print text manually by the educator. Emergent writers may be able to write simple sentences with guidance.
No Text Version:
The no text version is best suited to select English text that is better suited to a country, culture, region, and/or to adjust the level of text difficulty.
Idea: We can engage the children in an activity to "brainstorm" and suggest the text for each letter word, this type of activity can help expand and assess vocabulary and comprehension.
Tip: Large groups: When using the no text version with larger groups, I found that using an overhead projector and writing the text the children suggested with fine tip erasable markers generates a lot of excitement. The letter practiced is highlighted in a different color within the text.
The consonants will be presented first in the sequence suggested at KidZone.ws Consonants -- extremely reliable, reliable, generally reliable, unreliable, very unreliable.
Below are suggestions with illustrations for presenting and assembly. The mini-book elements are printed in three pages using regular paper or card stock (the three pages includes the alphabet worksheet for the stickers). Suggestion: Consider printing the matching worksheet and mini-books on light or pastel color paper/card stock which adds interest and additional learning to the activity while still allowing the children to color and decorate the illustrations. For example, example print Letter B on light Blue or Beige to practice colors and add another word related to the letter.
- Print the elements
needed (also available in
Spanish): alphabet activity worksheet and mini-book
templates. Cut out and lay out the stickers in random order
above the mini book page 1 and later present page 2 for the last
image left. Do not cut out the book pages yet. Note: The
stickers are printed and cut out from the matching letter activity
- First have children match the word on each sticker to the
word on the cards - adapt the text to
Tip: For older children (3.5+ and older) use the riddle method: leave out the key letter word in a sentence, for example -for the word Mother - The ________(blank) feeds milk to the baby. The child will look at the sticker images, then select and say mother, Mom or Mommy and any of these words would be acceptable for the Mother sticker image. If the text proves to be too difficult, provide additional clues, or skip to another image that is easier, which will leave the difficult one for last. Make sure to identify and find the letter addressed in the sentence text.
- Apply glue to
the back of the sticker and not to the square in the card to
avoid the book pages from sticking together, children paste the
sticker inside the square after making each right selection.
- After all stickers are pasted, children can color the images.
- Make sure to write the child's name in the front cover in
the line provided or older children can practice this skill.
- The letter tracer card is optional. The educator will use discretion as to when to present this portion.
Here are two suggested assembly methods for the mini-books after conducting the learning activities and stickers are pasted:
Accordion Book Format for Younger Children:
The book will have Cover/Title Page and Five to Three Images depending on the letter.
The accordion format is my preferred
method for older toddlers and younger preschoolers (24 to 48 months -
under 4 years old). Print the mini-book pages on card
stock or glue the pages to construction paper rectangles that are
slightly larger than the pages for durability. Align the
cards next to each other (see illustration above) - front cover
first, leaving a tiny
gap between each page, and place two or three small
pieces of tape where the pages meet, as illustrated. Turn the entire
set of pages face down and repeat the taping process on the back on the
same locations. The tiny gap between the pages is important
because it will allow the book pages to fold smoothly. Accordion
fold the book pages so the front cover is facing first and place a
heavy book or flat object over it for 5 minutes or so to set the
The accordion book format is easier to handle for the little ones and avoids the use of staples or binding. in this method, the book pages are always laid out completely in front of the children for visual impact. The folding process is an additional benefit for using fine motor skills. Practice with the children how to close and open the folds to make the accordion folds, make it a game. Omit the tracer page for this age group and save for future use - ages 4.5+ or when ready to start serious alphabet tracing.
Book Format with Binder Template - Older children 4+ and older
Additional learning activities for book format with binder:
- Discuss the parts of the book: the front cover, the title, author, text, illustrations, etc. Omit this activity in future mini book activities once you feel the children have learned these concepts. The front cover also offers the opportunity for children to practice writing their first name.
- Scissor cutting: Older preschoolers can practice scissor cutting skills and cut out the elements of the books as much as possible by themselves.
- Letter Tracing Practice: It is up to the educator to include or omit the tracer practice page.
- Numbers: Organize pages alphabetically and optionally help children to number the pages on the left lower corner to practice numerals.
- Adult: Staple twice in the areas indicated in the front/title page.
- Cover the stapled area with the book binder template. Fold the book binder template along the center dotted line -- use a glue stick and glue in place in the front of the book first, and press firmly, then press in place in the back - it takes about ten minutes for the book binder to dry thoroughly. Covering the stapled area is a good safety step. Staples tend to bend and open easily, scratch the skin, or get tangled in the clothing causing damage, and children under three are tempted to "taste" them!
- Letter recognition practice in upper and lower case, and initial letter sound.
- Small motor skills / eye and hand coordination - scissor cutting, the placement of the stickers within the square, tracing the letters if applicable and using coloring tools all help address these skill areas.
- Vocabulary and basic knowledge in various themes or subjects: The text offers the opportunity for children to learn and expand vocabulary related to the words for each letter. Learn about various topics: science and social studies (animal facts for example), community helpers, nutrition and more.
- Comprehension and problem solving: Reading the text and the process of selecting the right image helps children focus on the content and main idea of the text as well as to solve a "problem" (the riddle) -- which is the right image?
- Pre-reading Skills: The process of reading the book and assembling the books with a loving and caring adult is a great opportunity to foster a love for reading, understanding that text is read from left to right and for learning the parts and the process of how a book is made.
Caring for My Mini-Books:
Keep the mini books in an accessible location. Make a special activity to decorate a shoe box or similar transparent plastic container with letter stickers. Avoid using a lid for the box, the lid discourages children from "reading" their books and hides the content. The box should be sized so that children can carry it by themselves to any location they feel like "reading" (kitchen, den, bedroom, etc.). Keep a few mini-books in a box in the car too! Children and older siblings that can assemble additional books for friends as gifts.
Child Care Providers and Preschool Setting: Assemble and color a complete set of mini-books for the reading station/center in your facility. Place them in a decorated box as suggested above where children can visit the books often.
Please report printing problems, typographical, grammar and punctuation errors here. For grammar issues, provide a brief explanation and recommend corrected text. Thank you for your contributions to improve and make the mini books useful to all! Any ideas and recommendations are greatly appreciated.
Have fun with the alphabet!!!