There are many ways to help children learn the letters of the alphabet. Using books to anchor the letter A lesson is a great way to help children with their letter recognition skills.
It is also an excellent technique for teaching children to associate the letter with their sound and visual image.
Here are ten books perfect to go with the letter A lessons.
What happens when one rides an airplane? This book perfectly answers the question by explaining the process of what a passenger will experience on the airplane.
From take-off to landing, “Amazing Airplanes” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker will allow children to glimpse air travel.
It presents the different jobs related to air travel, such as the radio control tower operator or the airport’s check-in attendant.
The story opens with a group of passengers arriving at the airport and checking in. They board the plane, and it takes off. They are served by the cabin crew while seated with drinks and food.
The pilot ensures that they get to their destination safely while it lands on the runway. Finally, the passengers exit the airplane.
Use this book to teach reading comprehension and the letter A by associating the letter with the airplane.
Recreate the story by simulating the airplane ride based on the book. Line up some chairs and have the children pretend to ride an airplane. Let them choose their roles-passenger, pilot, or cabin crew as they play.
Related: Airplane Crafts for Preschool
“Awesome Autumn” by Bruce Goldstone presents different facts about this beautiful season and uses realistic photos and illustrations of its uniqueness.
The book is a great tool to teach children comparison, cause, and effect, and vocabulary to develop critical thinking skills. Discuss the changes that happen during autumn and how everyone adapts to these changes.
For example, the weather becomes colder compared to the hot summer. Therefore, everyone wears thicker clothes, and some wear several layers to keep themselves warm.
The color of the leaves changes, and they eventually fall to the ground. There are crops harvested in this season that were planted during the summer.
Animals change as well. Birds, insects, and other animals migrate or travel to warmer places to survive the winter. Some animals cease to move, or they hibernate. Some store food, while others grow thicker fur. Some animals’ fur even changes colors.
Discuss the five senses with a Science lesson using this book. Talk about the colors of autumn for the sense of sight and the abundance and flavors of vegetables and fruits harvested during this season for the sense of taste.
Lastly, use the book to teach words that begin with the letter A, such as apples, acorns, almonds, and ash trees.
An ant makes its plea heard as it defends its case from getting squished by a boy who is intent on eliminating the tiny insect. “Hey, Little Ant” by Philip and Anna Hoose teaches children reasoning skills, weighing options, and empathy.
Use this book to discuss the ant’s anatomy, behavior, and habitat in-depth. The ant has two body parts that begin with the letter A: antennas and abdomen. These parts can help in learning the letter A.
Identifying similarities and differences is a lesson that can be gleaned from reading this book to children. Discuss how the ant and the boy are similar according to the story. Their sizes may differ, but both have companions that they enjoy.
Finally, teach children the value of decision-making based on the story. Ask the children, “Should the boy squish the ant or not?” and let them provide different reasons.
Children will learn to make sound judgments based on facts presented in the book.
Related: Preschool Ant Crafts
“A Is for America: A Patriotic Alphabet Book” by Tanya Lee Stone is a patriotic book that teaches children the letters A up to Z by associating them with words that have historical relevance.
These words can be an excellent introduction to American History and the letter A. As children become familiar with them, use the same idea to further the lesson, such as the states that begin with the letter A-Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, and Arkansas.
Use a map to show children the location of these states. Next, mention the names of the past presidents whose names begin with the letter A. They are Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Jackson. Use pictures if possible.
The book shows several pages with illustrations of the American Flag. Let children become familiar with the colors and symbols on the Flag. Use this opportunity to teach counting.
Let children count the flags in the book. They find out the total number of flags in the book or the most number on each page. Use these numbers to teach children tallying for a Math activity.
An alligator that loves surprises was not happy when a surprise was not what he expected it to be. “Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!” by Mo Willems is about a girl named Amanda who has a stuffed alligator for a friend.
The alligator loves surprises, and Amanda makes her friend happy by giving the best ones. One day, Amanda was gifted by her grandfather a stuffed panda. Alligator was not amused but discovered something valuable from this experience.
Teach character study using this book. Let children describe the alligator and compare it to the panda. Children should be able to see the differences and similarities between these characters.
Discuss the concepts of real and make-believe based on the story. Ask children questions based on the scenes in the book. For example, ask children, “Can a girl love reading books? Can an alligator love reading books?” Let children give their reasons.
Let children learn more about animals that begin with the letter A, aside from alligators, such as armadillos, anteaters, antelopes, apes, and alpacas.
“Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington is a story about the life of an apple farmer. It talks about the benefits of growing apples for a living, using simple sentences to describe the character’s experience.
Aside from learning that apples start with the letter A, this book can anchor lessons on the parts of the apple fruit, its life cycle, the different types of apples, the different colors, and the products made from apples.
The book mentioned some of these products, like applesauce, apple cider, and pastries, such as cakes, muffins, and pies made with apples.
Have children experience being an apple farmer by setting up an apple stand in the pretend play area. Recall how Farmer Annie made profits by selling her produce.
Children can pack the apples in baskets, set them up in the store or on a table, and weigh them using a scale. They can take the money for the apples and provide the change.
Incorporate some Math activities for older children by providing prices for the apples. For example, a small apple may cost a dollar, while a bigger apple can be bought for two dollars.
Children may practice their basic addition skills with this activity. They may use their play money to make a purchase.
Bo is a curious little armadillo. He mistakenly thought the red boot a girl was wearing was another armadillo. He got separated from his family when he tried to befriend it by following the boot. Bo got into trouble, but he had an adventure.
In the end, Bo realized that the boot was not exactly as he thought it was. His mother and siblings finally found him after a long search, and they brought him back to safety.
“Armadillo Rodeo” by Jan Brett is a great story to teach children about this unique animal that starts with the letter A. Use this book to discuss the armadillo’s characteristics, food, habitat, and behavior.
Talk about cowboys and rodeos. Discuss what makes them unique, such as their clothing and practices.
Teach story sequencing by asking children to retell the story in order. Point to pictures as a prompt if they miss some events in the story.
Ask questions to process reading comprehension, such as “What is the name of the armadillo?” or “What did Bo see in the creek?”
Introduce children to the world of space and the concept of space travel with the book “Astronauts” by Christiane Engel. This is an interactive book that children will love to read.
It has parts that can be manipulated by pulling, pushing, or sliding. This results in making the pictures seem to move. Let children know that the word astronauts start with the letter A. Introduce astronomy in a Science lesson to the children.
The book shows ways astronauts prepare for their mission. It also shows the vehicle they ride to get into outer space. Pictures and descriptions show what they do as they work and in their free time.
Use videos of real astronauts for children to make the connection. Point out some essential facts, such as the lack of gravity in space makes the astronauts float, wear a special suit, and conduct experiments for a long time.
They also repair their space stations whenever it needs fixing. Astronauts see many things in outer space through a unique window in the space station.
Use this book in the center for children to learn about space and the celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon, and stars. Let children pretend as astronauts in the pretend play area as they copy the experts in action from the book.
In short and simple phrases, the book “Because of an Acorn” by Lola Schaefer and Adam Schaefer presented the life cycle of an oak tree and its effect on the ecosystem it belongs.
This book can be used to teach the letter A through the acorn. Introduce other trees that begin with the same letter. Some may be familiar to children, such as apples, apricot, avocado, almond, acacia, and ash trees.
Teach children connections through cause and effect, as presented in the story. Have them explain the phrases for better understanding.
For example, in the phrase, “Because of a snake…a hawk,” ask children what they think the phrase is all about. Show the pictures to help them process the information better.
Show children how a tiny acorn becomes an oak tree by teaching its life cycle. Point out that an oak tree comes from one acorn, and many acorns will produce a forest filled with many oak trees.
Related: Acorn Preschool Crafts
Sally Hopgood’s “See You Later, Alligator” is a ridiculous story about a tortoise in the park who tries to go on an adventure but refuses to leave without bidding every one of his friends goodbye.
By the time he finished his farewell, the sun had set, and park gates were closed. He will attempt the following day again with the same result. Use this book to go with an alligator craft when teaching the letter A.
Increase phonemic awareness by teaching children rhyming words from the book. If possible, provide pictures to help children focus on the sounds. Use terms such as house-mouse, mat-cat, day-jay, and others for this activity.
Teach categories by letting children group the animals mentioned in the book based on their different features. Ask children which of the animals can fly or swim. Ask them which of the animals live in water or trees.
Let them point out animals that have tails or those that have wings. They can also tell which animals are fast and that is slow. Children can also give the sounds familiar animals make.
These ten books that teach the letter A are the perfect companion for any craft, worksheet, or letter activities. Children will love listening to these stories and looking at the beautiful illustrations.
Reading these books will also help them develop a love for reading and an appreciation for narratives at the same time as they work on recognizing the letter a and the sound it makes.
These reading opportunities will help children improve their critical thinking and comprehension while targeting specific skills, such as letter recognition.
Thank you for reading!