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Engaging English:
Alliteration Wall-Hangings to Excite Young Learners

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Subject(s)

Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
--Visual Arts
Educational Technology


Grade

3-12


Brief Description

Students use a selection of alliterative phrases to create a wall or ceiling hanging.

Objectives

Students will
  • experiment with language while working on imaginative tasks and during creative play.
  • use technology to effectively present a selection of alliterative phrases that can be used to create an informative wall or ceiling hanging.
  • explore English concepts including alliteration and vocabulary, and practice technology and creative arts skills.
  • draw on a combination of skills to communicate and display their knowledge appropriately.
  • create an alliterative wall-hanging.

Keywords

English, language arts, alliteration, wall hanging, vocabulary, word bank, technology

Materials Needed

Gather and prepare supplies including:
  • one or more computers
  • paper on which to print student designs (stiff or card stock works best)
  • age-appropriate scissors or hole-punch
  • wool, string or wire for hanging completed projects
  • a creative design software program appropriate for elementary students, such as Serif's free Digital Scrapbook Artist Compact. Most programs will have tutorials to get you going quickly. Serif provides several classroom resources.
  • an example of an alliteration wall-hanging for demonstration and display

      Lesson Plan

      Note: This lesson applies specifically to English language arts, but it can be modified or applied to other subject areas or age groups that would benefit from a richer understanding of abstract language concepts. For example, the lesson also can be used in beginner foreign language classes on all levels.

      Introduce alliterative phrases and have students read a range of phrases aloud. Discuss the concept of alliteration as a class. Play a brief game: Put a word on the board and ask who can think of the most alliterative phrases. Ask students how they recognize an alliteration and what impact such a phrase has. Encourage them to write or type some of their own alliterative phrases, making use of current vocabulary words and using a dictionary or thesaurus as appropriate.

      Next, outline the project and the objective of creating alliterative wall-hangings using cards that include a series of alliterative phrases, such as "curious cat," "crystal clear" and "crazy color."

      As a class, investigate the design software program you will use for the project. Digital Scrapbook Artist Compact, for example, enables users to set background colors and materials, to use a variety of fonts for typing text, and to embellish projects with a variety of digital graphics, including ribbons, buttons, swatches of glitter, rope, or zippers.

      Assign individual students or groups to consider what words they will use for the project. Set parameters that align with your instructional goals, including whether they should use words from a particular unit, how many alliterative phrases they should illustrate (three to four are suggested), or whether alliterations should be based on a theme ("fall foliage") or social studies concept ("hometown helpers").

      Ask students to begin a new document with the software and create a page roughly 4.25 inches high and 8.5 inches wide. Have students set their background colors and/or themes, and use text or freeform paint or drawing features to add the alliterative phrases to the page. Encourage them to add a few digital graphics to their page to help illustrate the phrase (a collar tag, mouse, or fish bone for "curious cat," for example). Digital Scrapbook Artist provides many scanned items for placement, and allows users to use any digital image saved on their computers. Remind students not to crowd their designs with too many elements. Encourage them to explore their own creativity while adding embellishments to their work by copying, pasting, flipping, rotating, or resizing the digital objects and images. Have students repeat the process as many times as necessary -- one page for each phrase.

      Print each page, ideally on stiff paper or card stock. Laminate each page if you have the time and equipment. Have students make a hole in the top and bottom of each page with scissors or a hole-punch, and then thread the pages together using string, wool, (safe) wire, or another appropriate material.

      Display the hangings from ceilings or bulletin boards, or save them as flash-card like reminders and word banks for referral in future lessons.

      Teaching Tips and Differentiation

      • As a variation, create wall-hangings with other types of words and phrases, such as colloquial words, idioms, or onomatopoetic words.
      • Experiment with different design elements when creating the hangings, whether with the software or by gluing physical embellishments, such as ribbon or other materials to the printed pages.
      • To extend the lesson, have students write a brief description of their alliterative phrases and what inspired them to create them. Ask if they can build longer phrases with three or four words.
      • For students with special needs or remedial words, focus the lesson on the use of nouns, adjectives, or high frequency vocabulary or spelling words.
      • Encourage more advanced students to use more complicated phrases or sophisticated design techniques (perhaps using the more advanced Digital Scrapbook Artist software).

      Teacher Resources:

      Assessment

      Students' grades should be based on this grading rubric:

      • How effective was their display?
      • Did they follow the project guidelines (such as using correct vocabulary words)?
      • Did they demonstrate a grasp of the alliteration concept?
      • Did they expand their technology skills?
      • Did they develop their understanding of creative arts abilities?

      Lesson Plan Source

      Robb Ponton: An educator for more than 25 years, Robb is currently an instructional technology resource teacher for Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools in Virginia and is a member of the board of directors for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education.

      Submitted By

      Theresa Freeman
      Matter Communications, on behalf of Serif

      National Academic Content Standards

      This lesson addresses these National Educational Technology Standards for Students:
      • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity and promote creativity.
      • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.
      • Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate and use information.

      Originally published 05/04/2010


 

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