Try This Clever Pre-Writing Activity to Help Kids Brainstorm From A to Z

Simple, yet effective.

The time students spend planning what they are going to write about, i.e. pre-writing, is one of the most important steps of the writing process. Recently, teacher Julie Woodard shared this clever writing activity to pass on to all our teacher friends.

“This Alphabetability activity,” she tells us, “is a helpful activity for brainstorming during the planning stage of writing because it engages the writer’s brain and connects it to the topic, guides the writer in creating strong vocabulary, and helps lead to a successfully written piece.”

pre-writing activity

How to use the Alphabetability pre-writing activity:

  • On paper, in writing journals, on the computer, phone, etc., write out the letters of the alphabet vertically down the lines of the paper or screen.
  • Brainstorm words or phrases related to your writing topic for as many letters of the alphabet as possible. More than one word or phrase per letter is OK, in fact it’s helpful.
  • Adjectives, adverbs, nouns- all parts of speech, are fine.  
  • Save your list to use throughout the writing process. 

When your list is complete, you’ve not only engaged your brain and focused your thinking on the topic, you have an awesome vocabulary list to start your writing!

Alphabetability is an activity students love and can be a valuable tool for writing throughout the school year.