I teach reading to students kindergarten through fifth grade. And to be sure, I use a lot of ABC activities with my younger students. But alpha boxes can be used with the older students. Each student can have his/her own alpha box paper or you can do it whole group on a chart. Because I teach small groups, I like to use the alpha boxes on a chart. This past week my fifth graders were reading a non-fiction book on sharks- what student doesn’t love reading about sharks? Not sure why these creatures captivate us all so much, but they do! After having read their books, students were to come up with words to fit into the alpha boxes. But here is the important part…I don’t want students just looking through the book for all the words that begin with “b” that they can find. To be able to add a word to our chart, the student must be able to explain to me what this word has to do with sharks. For example, the student might bring me the word attached. They would have to be able to explain to me that attached was important because it described how remora fish get on the sharks. Attached without the explanation doesn’t work. Alpha boxes is a fun activity that teaches vocabulary and comprehension of the text. Have you ever used alpha boxes?