K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

After completing a thematic study of zoo animals students will be able to demonstrate alphabet recognition, alphabetical order and letter-sound association. Each child will use the Alphabet Band Interactive Storybook and the Alphabet Express CD during center time and for the remainder of the year.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

4 days



  • Animals A to Z by David McPhail
  • Animal ABC by Susan Hood
  • Interactive Storybook, by Publications International

Technology resources

  • Computer with CD capabilities.
  • Interactive CD-ROM for Alphabet Band Storybook
  • Television with Video Tape Recorder
  • Video: Barney’s Alphabet Zoo
  • CD-ROM Alphabet Express, by School Zone Interactive


During our week long unit on Animals from the Zoo, children will reinforce letter recognition in the computer center by listening, identifying and using letters paired with animals on an interactive CD-ROM.


  1. The students will begin a theme study of Zoo animals by watching Barney’s Alphabet Zoo video. During a led discussion students will review initial letter identification by identifying beginning sounds of the animals in the video. Students will use prior knowledge of letter recognition learned during small group mini-lessons on each letter of the alphabet. After watching the video and discussing the letters and their sounds, the students will help form a list of the animals by supplying the appropriate beginning sound and letter.
  2. Upon review of the list made from the video, Barney’s Alphabet Zoo, the teacher will read the books, Animals A to Z by David McPhail and Animal ABC by Susan Hood. Discussion of the letters and their sequence follows the reading of each book.
  3. Each student is given the opportunity to listen to the Alphabet Band story read to them using the computer. The words light up as they are read. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by an animal. Students are also given the opportunity to build letter and object identification skills by playing ‘Look and Find’, also found on the interactive CD. Uppercase and lowercase recognition skills are worked by playing ‘Build Memory’ which resembles a game of Concentration.
  4. Students are introduced to another skill building tool, ‘The Alphabet Express’ CD, which allows students to build letter recognition, beginning sounds, letter-sound association,and alphabetical order skills.

All activities listed for the computer are left in the computer center for the remainder of the school year for reinforcement and skill building.


Students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge of alphabet recognition.
  • demonstrate knowledge of beginning sound recognition.
  • play ‘Alphabet Band’ CD interactive book.
  • demonstrate use of beginning sound identification.
  • participate in group discussion of animals in ‘Barney’s Alphabet Zoo’.
  • demonstrate proper use and care of the computer in the computer center.

Supplemental information


This lesson can be modified/adapted to fit any thematic study at anytime during the school year.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Foundational Skills

        • K.RFS.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). K.RFS.2.1 Recognize and produce rhyming words. K.RFS.2.2 Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words. K.RFS.2.3 Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable...
        • K.RFS.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. K.RFS.3.1 Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant. K.RFS.3.2 Associate the long and...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)


  • Goal 1: The learner will develop and apply enabling strategies to read and write.
    • Objective 1.02: Develop phonemic awareness and knowledge of alphabetic principle:
      • demonstrate understanding that spoken language is a sequence of identifiable speech sounds.
      • demonstrate understanding that the sequence of letters in the written word represents the sequence of sounds in the spoken word.
      • demonstrate understanding of the sounds of letters and understanding that words begin and end alike (onsets and rimes).
    • Objective 1.03: Demonstrate decoding and word recognition strategies and skills:
      • recognize and name upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.
      • recognize some words by sight including a few common words, own name, and environmental print such as signs, labels, and trademarks.
      • recognize most beginning consonant letter-sound associations in one-syllable words.