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Activity and strategy

Alphabet Objects

This alphabetical reference list of objects, actions, and food can be used instead of pictures for language development, alphabet books, and other instructional activities. Most of these objects are readily available and familiar to children.

Colored illustration of animals with alphabet letters A, B, C, D

by Terri Bohling

This year I had a blind student in kindergarten. One of the table jobs the class did each week was cut out pictures of objects beginning with the letter of the week and paste it on a page for an alphabet book. I developed a list of real objects, small and flat enough to be pasted in a book, for my student to use.

Each week he would cut out his real object and paste it onto a piece of braille paper. At the end of the year, I put the pages in a large-ring binder. It was a wonderful book for him.

As an outgrowth of that list, I expanded to a listing of real objects that would fit in a manipulative tub. From there, I added body parts, actions, animals, concepts of position, foods and things (too big for a book or tub). 

Editor’s note: What follows is a list of real objects (whenever possible, avoid using plastic replicas) that can be substituted for pictures as the author describes during language and literacy development activities. It is adapted from more comprehensive lists created by the author, which also include additional categories such as body parts, actions, animals, and food.

Download the list in chart format (RTF).

Alphabet List

A

Object Book
aluminum foil, antenna, arrow

Manipulative Tub
abacus, acorn, alarm clock, album, anchor, antler, apple, avocado

B

Object Book
bag, balloon, bandaid, barrette, beads, beans, book, bottle, button

Manipulative Tub
ball, banana, basket, battery, beanbag, bell, belt, block, boa, bone, bow, bowl, box, brick, brush

C

Object Book
candle (b-day), candy, cardboard, circle, comb, cotton ball, crayon

Manipulative Tub
camera, can, can opener, candle, cane, cap, cell phone, clay, colander, cookie cutter, crown, cup

D

Object Book
diamond (shape), dollar, domino

Manipulative Tub
diaper, dice, doll, door knob, dress, drill, drum

E

Object Book
earring, eggshells, envelope

Manipulative Tub
ear muffs, easel, egg, electric tootbrush

F

Object Book
fan, feather, filter (coffee), fork, fur

Manipulative Tub
file, film, flag, flashlight, flower, folder, football, frame

G

Object Book
glasses, glove, gum

Manipulative Tub
gift, globe, glue, grapefruit

H

Object Book
hair, hair tie, handkerchief, heart (shape), headband, hole

Manipulative Tub
hammer, handle, hanger, harmonica, hat, helmet, hook, horn, hose

I

Object Book
inch, incense, ivy

Manipulative Tub
ice cream (carton), ice cube tray, iron

J

Object Book
jellybeans, juice box (crushed)

Manipulative Tub
jacket, jacks, jar, jeans, juicer, jump rope

K

Object Book
key

Manipulative Tub
kazoo, ketchup, kettle, keyboard, kite, kiwi

L

Object Book
lace, leaf, leather, lollipop

Manipulative Tub
ladle, lamp, leash, lemon, letter, lid, life jacket, lipstick, light bulb, lock, lunch box

M

Object Book
macaroni, marshmallow, match, mitten

Manipulative Tub
magazine, magnet, mail, marble, marker, mask, mat, measuring cup, microphone, milk (carton), mouse (computer), mug, mustard

N

Object Book
nail, name tag, napkin, necklace, needle, noodle

Manipulative Tub
necktie, net, newspaper, nozzle, nut, nutcracker

O

Object Book
oatmeal (packet), ointment, oval, oven mitt

Manipulative Tub
oil, onion, orange, ornament, overalls

P

Object Book
paintbrush, paper, paperclip, peanut, pebbles, peg, pen, pencil, penny, pin

Manipulative Tub
pajamas, pan, pants, pecan, pedal, pepper, pillow, pipe, pitcher, pizza box, plate, plug, pocket, popcorn, pot, potato, powder, pudding, puppet, purse, puzzle, pumpkin

Q

Object Book
quarter, quill

Manipulative Tub
quilt

R

Object Book
ribbon, rice, ring, rope, rock, ruler, rubber band

Manipulative Tub
radio, raincoat, rattle, remote, rug

S

Object Book
shell, slate, soap, spaghetti, spoon, square, star, stick, straw, string

Manipulative Tub
salt, sand, saucer, saw, scarf, scissors, screwdriver, shirt, shoe, shower cap, slinky, sock, stockings, stylus, sweater, switch

T

Object Book
tape, tea bag, thread, tile, tissue, triangle

Manipulative Tub
telephone, thermometer, tie, timer, toaster, tongs, toothbrush, towel, trumpet, tweezers

U

Object Book
underwear

Manipulative Tub
ukulele, umbrella

V

Object Book
valentine, velcro, velvet

Manipulative Tub
vacuum cleaner, vanilla, vase, veil, vest, videotape, vine, vinegar, violin, visor

W

Object Book
washcloth, washer, wax, web, wire, wishbone, wool

Manipulative Tub
wallet, walnut, watch, water, watermelon, wheel, whistle, wood

X

Object Book
x-ray, xerox copy

Manipulative Tub
xylophone

Y

Object Book
yarn

Manipulative Tub
yardstick, yogurt, yo-yo

Z

Object Book
ziplock bag, zipper, zigzag

Manipulative Tub
zucchini


This article was originally published by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) and is reprinted here with permission.

collage of alphabet objects
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