Saturday, March 22, 2014

If You Were Alliteration

If You Were Alliteration
written by Trisha Speed Shaskan; illustrated by Sara Gray
2008 (Picture Window Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Alliteration: The same sound repeated at the beginning of two or more words in a phrase or a sentence.

Ulysses the Unicorn spots a UFO as he makes a U-turn on his unicycle.

If you were a teacher and if you were teaching a lesson about alliteration, this is the book that you would want in your hand. Looking at the subject and the fabulous illustrations on the cover, I expected a book filled with alliterative phrases and delightful illustrations. I was not disappointed as my very predictable prediction was fulfilled. The surprise and my greatest satisfaction came when I read and discovered all the different ways that alliteration was presented as a teaching tool. Author Trisha Speed Shaskan presented several lenses in which to view this poetic device. You can use alliteration to teach the relationship between letters and sounds that is phonics. One example in the book shows how "ph" and "f" both say /f/. Another points out that two letters together can make sound called a digraph. That it is taught through the use of chubby chickens gossiping makes this a very fun section to read. Other quick mini-lessons include blends, tongue twisters, poems, and story telling. The last two pages are a lesson in how to write your own acrostic poem.

With National Poetry Month coming up in a week's time, you'll want to find a copy of this alliterative alchemy of alike letters to share with your students.

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