Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Meet Rebecca

Meet Rebecca

It’s great to have Rebecca here today. Rebecca is the editor of a Alphabet Soupt, a great magazine for kids who love reading and writing.

The Spring Issue of Alphabet Soup is out now, and Rebecca has some great tips on how it can help teachers in the classroom.

Wonderful to have you here, Rebecca.



What are the benefits to teachers of using your magazine in the classroom?

 Alphabet Soup is an Australian magazine, so content includes the voice, language, idioms, and settings familiar to Australian students.

A magazine with a variety of genres can be a useful tool for encouraging children to read – some children find a long book daunting, but they can dip into different sections of the magazine to read a short story, poem or article.

Students can use Alphabet Soup for silent reading, or ‘take home’ reading.

Can you suggest a literacy or writing activity for students in prep to grade 2 using Alphabet Soup?

For students at the younger end of this age range

Read ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ to the class and ask the children about how the characters behave. ‘How do you think Jack felt when he heard the giant roaring?’

To gain an understanding of the giant’s scary character, the children stomp about and chant his rhyme in a scary voice:

Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman;

Be he alive or be he dead,

I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!


Older children

Read ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and ask the children questions as a prompt for writing:

What if the magic beans didn’t grow after Jack’s mother threw them away?

What happened after the story, during the ‘happily ever after’ time?

Can you think of an alternative ending for the story?

Can you suggest a literacy or writing activity for grade 3 to 4 students using Alphabet Soup?

1. Ask students to bring in a vegetable.

2. Read the poem ‘Brussels Sprouts’ by Brian Langley as an example.

3. Ask students to write a poem about the vegetable they’ve brought in.


Ways to use the vegetable poems: 

  • Display a copy of each poem (and a drawing or photograph to match) in the classroom or the school library or exhibit at a nearby public library.
  • Use them to make a book of vegetable poems (perhaps called Vegetable Soup!), written and illustrated by class members. Display the book in the school library for a couple of weeks, and/or a selection of the poems could be read at a school assembly.
  • Glue each poem (with illustration) to a card for Father’s Day/ Mother’s Day/birthday/Christmas.
  • If the students have used their poems to make cards, talk about the correct way to address an envelope, and then post the cards. (Australia Post has online instructions for hand-addressing envelopes at http://www.auspost.com.au/BCP/0,1467,CH2092%257EMO19,00.html.)
  • Send the finished poems in to our spring writing competition (if they meet the entry requirements – see the ‘competitions’ page of our website: http://www.alphabetsoup.net.au).

Can you suggest a literacy or writing activity for students in upper primary school using Alphabet Soup?

Read ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, or ‘Garden of Guesses’ and retell the story from another point of view. For ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ students might choose to tell the story from the point of the view of the giant, or the cow, or the beanstalk. For the garden story, they might choose the point of view of the teacher in the story, the potatoes being planted, or a worm in the garden.


issue 4 cover low resUse Alphabet Soup as the starting point for creating a class magazine.

Groups of students take on different pages (or roles) in the magazine (i.e. illustration, creating crosswords, writing book reviews, writing poems, stories etc)  

Display the magazine in the school library (or lend it to another classroom and ask them to review it!).

How do you think that author interviews benefit young readers and writers?

The obvious benefit is that authors offer encouragement to young writers and usually have some useful tips! In addition to writing tips, children discover that an author was just like them once – a child who dreamed of becoming a writer.

If a child finds an interview interesting, they will be more likely to seek out books by that author that they haven’t yet read.

Thanks for visiting Rebecca. There are so many great things for both teachers and students in your magazine.

You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup online at www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Also, visit these other great blogs to find out more about Alphabet Soup, and where Rebecca will be/has been to on her tour:

September 1 – http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale – the background of the mag.

September 2 – http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com – the editorial process.

September 3 – http://ww.letshavewords.blogspot.com – some printing questions.

September 4 – http://belka37.blogspot.com – the submission process.

September 5 – https://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com (that’s here!)

September 6 – http://robynopie.blogspot.com

September 7 – http://www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com



Read Full Post »