Alpha Boxes

Alpha Boxes are one of my favorite Social Studies strategies due to it’s versatility. You can use Alpha Boxes a previewing strategy – what do you know about… or a processing strategy – what did you learn about…

What is it?
A strategy utilized to develop vocabulary understanding through recollection and reflection of important points of a unit of study.

How Does It Work?           
After reading a social studies passage students work in pairs or small groups to think of words that reflect the important points learned.  They insert the words alphabetically into the Alpha Boxes on the recording sheet. The goal is to fill in as many boxes as possible. (There may be multiple words for each box.)
Students may:
·         Share ideas with other class members orally—discussion and justification are critical
·         Use their words to create an alphabet book modeled after The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.
·         A variation of The Important Book is to create side-by-side pages where one page is titled The interesting thing about _____ is…, and the other page is titled, But the important thing about _____ is…)  Example:  The interesting thing about Abraham Lincoln is that he was over 6 feet tall, but the important thing about Abraham Lincoln is that he signed the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves in America.


An Example:



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