“Artists over the years have illustrated letters of the alphabet and created alphabet books. We are going to illustrate our favorite letter.”
Discuss the vocabulary for this lesson. Reads The Graphic Alphabet, by Pelletier, and Eating the Alphabet, by Ehlert. Compare and contrast the illustrations in the two books.
Have students identify illustrations that could be used for an assortment of letters. How might you illustrate the letter J? Or the letter Z?
Display the artwork images. Discuss what the students see and which letters of the alphabet could be represented by these images, i.e., M is for motorcycle or B is for boat, etc.
Then, demonstrate the process: draw a large letter with chalk and then trace evenly around the letter to create an artistic font. The letter shape may be made with an animal posing as the letter, i.e., an S made by the body of a snake.
The inside of the letter will then be painted, colored, patterned, or outlined in other colors. The letter will be filled in with images of nouns that begin with that letter.
Images of additional nouns beginning with that letter may also be drawn “climbing” on the letter, creating frame around the perimeter of the paper, floating in the background, etc.
Give each student a different letter and have them use the demonstrated techniques for drawing and outlining a large letter. Make sure to give each student a different letter, so that in the end we can create a complete alphabet book.
Students select the media they will use to add details and colors.
Have students begin to design their letters.
Demonstrate how to create a frame around the final letter.
Have students complete and frame their artworks.
Differentiation and Modifications:
Modification: Students who finish early may create a second letter.
Student artwork is ready for inclusion in class Alphabet Book. The artwork includes a large graphic letter, neatly colored or painted, as well as images that illustrate that letter.
12×12″ construction paper in any non-white color, white chalk, art erasers, markers, color sticks, crayons, or tempera cakes
Alfred Thompson Bricher, American, At the South Head, Grand Manan, 1880s. Oil on canvas, 55 7/8 x 45 3/4 (141.9 x 116.2 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. Museum purchase with funds provided by the John A. Schwarz III and Anita Eerdmans Schwarz Family Endowment, 2002.18.1. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.