The Hidden Alphabet

Read-alouds often act as rich provocations to inspire learning and push for thinking.

We regularly read a series of alphabet books that reinforce letters and sounds in meaningful ways and push children to think about their alphabet. A special bookshelf in the classroom “Book Nook,” containing alphabet books and replenished often, serves as a meaningful space for children to engage with their beginning understandings of letters and sounds.

One morning, we presented our students with a book entitled “The City ABC Book” by Zoran Milich.

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Upon completion of the read-aloud, one student looked above at the ceiling, and proudly exclaimed…

AN X!!!

The children were bewildered at this interesting find. A camera was given to this student who photographed the image and led a group around the classroom and school for mornings to come, in search of letters in their environment.

We want to find ALL the letters. – Kindergarten Student

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Can you guess the letters found in our environment?

Our favourite moment throughout this investigation occurred when a student decided to search for the “A.” She worked tirelessly to find it, looking under tables, in corners, at block arrangements, and so on. When it was suggested to her that she perhaps work to find another letter, one more simple to find, she simply dismissed the thought and persisted to search for “A.”

Shortly thereafter…


There, in the structure of our class easel, was the letter A. A great cheer and celebration ensued.


As a class, we worked together to find all of the letters of the alphabet, a “Hidden Alphabet” in our school environment, hung at the children’s level to engage with year round.

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Here are a few of our favourite alphabet books:

Animal Babies by Chuck Murphy

Animal Alphabet by Bert Kitchen

The Butterfly Alphabet by KJell Sandved

Wildflower ABC by Diana Pomeroy

From Albatross to Zoo by Patricia Borlenchi


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