20 Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!

20, 21

Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!

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Children respond to the rhythm of songs and poems. Many children can sing songs about the ABC’s. Gradually they learn to identify the letters by name and sound and begin to use the alphabet as a key to phonemic awareness and spelling.

About the Picture The series of couplets make up a rhythmic chant for matching letters, sounds, and key words. The key words in the couplets are the same as the words on the alphabet chart, "“Writers explore letters, sounds, and words.”

Major Concepts

  • Alphabet songs and poems give children a background for using letters when they write.
  • Knowing the alphabet and its sound-symbol relationships facilitates word recognition and spelling.

Daily Lesson Planning

Introduction to the Poem

  1. Relate "Writers have fun . . ." and ". . . with words" to "Writers explore letters, sounds, and words." The children will probably recognize that this poem uses the key words from the alphabet chart. Read the poem slowly to the children. Read it again, inviting the children to join in on the rhyming words. Repeat the poem often. Some children will eventually memorize it.
  2. Implement “Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!” (BB 54-55).

Activities with the Poem

Choose from the following:

  • Implement “Writers use rhyming words” (BB 56).
  • Do activities related to rhyming words. You could recite nursery rhymes or sing songs—listening for rhyming words. Then do the same with “Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!” Write some of the rhyming pairs and add other words that rhyme.
  • Use “Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!” as a choral reading. There are many ways to divide the poem into parts. You could assign couplets to 13 individuals; assign one line per child with some unison; assign couplets to partners; and so on.
  • Assign one couplet (to be copied or traced) to each child. Have the child make an original drawing or painting relating the two concepts of his or her assigned couplet.
  • Recite “Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!” and have children clap their hands, tap their feet, or pat their legs to the beat of the syllables. They could alternate these movements and use rhythm instruments, too.
  • Have children decorate a copy of "Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!" and take it home to share.
  • As a challenging shared writing, write new couplets for each of the paired alphabet words, or try "My Alphabet Pair."
LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

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Additional Activities

These activities offer options for continuing the learning in this unit. Whether your curriculum is skill-based or more open-ended, select the activities that are most appropriate for the children in your classroom. The Writing Spot is primarily a writing program, but writing can be integrated throughout your curriculum—in art, drama, reading, math, and science.

  • Do a Q and A based on “Alligator to Zipper-Dee-Do!”

Ask questions: Where do eggs come from? Where do alligators live? Are ladybugs really shy? Where can I find a turtle sunning? Encourage students to come up with more questions. As children discover answers to their questions, challenge them to make up rhymes about what they’ve learned.

  • Be word collectors.

Assign the letters A-Z to individual children. Over a week’s time, have the students collect and write down as many words as they can that begin with their letter of the alphabet. Provide plenty of materials in the classroom for the children to work with, especially picture dictionaries and word books. Combine the children’s lists to create an alphabet book for the writing center.

  • Write poems and rhymes.

Read poetry and familiar rhymes to the children. Talk about the words that rhyme. Ask children to identify and write pairs of rhyming words. Then, as a class project, use these words to create a class poem.

  • Use pictures as ideas for rhymes.

Read picture books of poems and rhymes. Talk about how the pictures explain the words. Show children a pair of pictures (for example, a dog and a cat). As a class, write a rhyme using the names of the pictures. Ask children to illustrate the class rhyme with their own drawings.

  • Work with rhyming riddles.

Use simple rhymes as thinking games. Read rhyming riddles to children and challenge them to guess the answers.

  • Have fun with alphabet letters.

Mix repetition with variety when reinforcing letters of the alphabet. Sing songs about letters, play games with letters, hide letters for children to find. The alphabet is a child’s first introduction to the mechanics of writing. If letter recognition is fun for children, they will be more interested in learning about sounds and words.

  • Make up ABC rhymes together.

Try this as an ongoing shared-writing activity. See if the children can make up a rhyme for each letter of the alphabet. It might go something like this:

The letter A likes the middle of day.
The letter B likes to rhyme with me.
The letter C drinks a cup of tea.

Create a bulletin-board display using your children’s ABC poem.

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

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English Language Arts: