Writing An Adirondack Alphabet Book
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Grade: 2nd Grade Author: Maureen Peroza
NYS Content Area Standard:
English Language Arts:
Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
The Arts:
Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural HistoryHuman History
Keywords: alphabet book, habitat, animals
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: What is life like in the Adirondacks? What might a visitor or resident expect to see, hear, feel or experience during the four seasons?

Note from author: If you do not wish to photocopy the entire book for each student consider making a class bulletin board.  Each child can then write, illustrate and color the pages and display the entire alphabet book on the bulletin board.

The teacher written booklet was written in rhyme.  It is included below in poem form but can be typed out on individual pages and bound into a booklet.

An Adirondack Alphabet Book by Mrs. Maureen Peroza   June 2004

A is for Adirondacks the mountains we love.

B is for beauty below and above.

C is for chipmunks, coyotes and crows.

D is for deer in deep winter snows.

E is for eagle that soars up so high.

F is for fir trees that grow to the sky.

G is for guideboat that glides on the pond.

H is for heron out fishing beyond.

I is for insect like ants and blackflies.

J is for blue jay whose song fills the skies.

K is for kayak and trips you can take.

L is for loon swimming out on the lake.

M is for marshmallows round campfires to cook.

N is for nuthatch, a bird in a nook. O is for orange leaves that light up the fall.

P is for pine cones and on pine trees so tall.

Q is for quills on a porcupine's back.

R is for raccoon having a raspberry snack.

S is for snow that falls when it's cold.

T is for trout and turtle and toad.

U is for uphill - up mountains we go.

V is for violets that follow the snow.

W is for woods with birch trees of white.

X is for blankets on  extra cold night. Y is for yarrow and yellow colored bees.

Z  is for thermometer reading zero degrees.

The Challenge:

1. As a class, be exposed to various books, poems, magazines, pictures and posters containing images of life in the Adirondacks.

2. As a class, discuss the features that make Airondack life unique to other geographic areas.  Compare and contrast different environments such as Rainforest vs Adirondacks.  Discuss how weather and geography affect habitat, animal life and human life style.

3. In small groups, brainstorm a list of Adirondack features such as animals, plants, weather, and activities based on given alphabet letters. 

4. As a class, combine brainstorm lists to compile a large poster chart of Adirondack alphabet words A-Z.

5. As a class, read, discuss and illustrate the teacher written booklet - An Adirondack Alphabet Book by Mrs. Maureen Peroza.  Become exposed to the sentence structure, descriptive style and rhythm of the book. 

6. Individully choose (1-3) letters of the alphabet to create page(s) of the class Adirondack Alphabet Book. Each page must include:

a. (letter) is for ____________. The word may/may not be chosen from the class generated brainstorm list but must be unique or special to the Adirondacks. 
b. a description of the featured word.
c. a clear pencil illustration.  The entire book will be colored after the book is photocopied.

7. As a class, compile all pages to complete the book from A-Z.  Photocopy all pages to form a complete book for each student.

8. Individually color each page in the book.

9. Individually create a unique cover for the book using the medium of your choice such as crayon illustration, paints, magazine picture collage, birch bark, twigs, pine cones, leaves and grasses.

Quality Standards:

Individual letter pages must include a word and description that represents a feature that is unique or special to the Adirondacks.

Each page must be written with clear and legible handwriting and proper spelling and punctuation.

Each page must contain a clear pencil illustration.  

Individual book covers must be unique and represent Adirondack idea(s) featured in the book.

Individual class book pages must be colored in correct, appropriate colors.

Individual must be able to read the class book aloud with accuracy, fluency and expression.

Individuals must be able to answer questions about the significance of each featured Adirondack word.

Product Quality Checklist
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Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

Individual page      

  • letter/word represents unique Adirondack feature
  • accurate description of the Adirondack word
  • uses proper sentence rhythm
  • correct spelling
  • proper punctuation
  • neat handwriting
  • clear pencil illustration

Class Book      

  • neat, appropriate coloring of illustrations
  • unique book cover containing Adirondack idea


  • accuracy
  • fluency      
  • expression

Comprehension - can answer questions about the significance of each featured word

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