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Lesson Plan

Q is for Duck: Using Alphabet Books With Struggling Writers

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Q is for Duck: Using Alphabet Books With Struggling Writers

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 40- to 60-minute sessions, plus time for students to create their own alphabet books
Lesson Author

Nancy Drew

Tecumseh, Ontario


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Mobile Apps






  • Q Is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom (Clarion Books, 1980)

  • A selection of alphabet books with a variety of structures (see Alphabet Booklist)

  • Chart paper on an easel or chart stand

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Paper for bookmaking

  • Projector to display computer screen or overhead transparencies

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Alphabet Organizer

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Alphabet Organizer

Students use this online tool to create an alphabet chart or pages for an alphabet book.


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Alphabet Organizer

Grades   K – 5  |  Mobile App  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Alphabet Organizer

The Alphabet Organizer lets users create a calendar-style ABC chart or letter pages for an alphabet book.


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1. For this particular lesson, the book Q is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom is used. However, any alphabet book with an interesting structure can be used and the lesson adapted accordingly (see Alphabet Booklist).

2. The steps of the writing process are loosely defined and assigned throughout the lesson. Remember that conferencing is a vital component of the writing process and takes place throughout; it should not be separated as a separate stage. At an appropriate time, explicitly point this out to students-that they will need to periodically discuss and conference with their peers and with you as they create their alphabet book pages.

3. Bookmark the online Alphabet Organizer on your school or classroom computers or download the Alphabet Organizer mobile app onto the tablet devices. This interactive tool will assist students in creating their alphabet books.  If you do not have access to technology, you can have students use the Alphabet Book Planning Sheet instead.

4. If you are unfamiliar with the process of patterned writing, you may wish to visit Pattern Writing: Combining Words Into Structured Ideas for a complete explanation with examples.

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