alphabetical order

This video lesson is designed for 6 to 12-year-old children to teach them how to arrange words in alphabetical order.


What is an alphabetical order?

Alphabetical order is a system of ordering things according to the letters in their names. The ability to learn alphabetical order is a practical skill that is useful in many areas of life.

What is the right way to introduce alphabetizing to the child? Let us understand with 4 simple rules.


What are the rules of alphabetizing?

Children go through four rules/ stages when learning order and sequencing.


Rule 1: Putting alphabet letters in order- 

In this stage, a child will learn to arrange letters in A to Z order. It can be done using sandpaper letters, flashcards, or letter tiles. Additionally, one can ask them to arrange the tiles in the correct order by mixing up the order of the tiles. 

When the child is familiar with the letter order in the alphabet, it is time to move on to more complicated alphabetizing activities.


Rule 2: Alphabetizing based on the First Letter of the Word

In this stage, children learn how to alphabetize words using only the first letter of each word. 


Rule 3: Alphabetizing based on the Second and Third Letters

As your child grows, they will come across many words or items which start with the same letter (for example, silk, sandwich, slate, slope, or star). The next step is to examine the second and third letters of the word and alphabetize them correctly.


Watch the video to learn how to alphabetize words based on Rule 2 and 3 of the ABC order.

Arranging words in alphabetical order is also an excellent opportunity to introduce and practice prefixes, suffixes, and root words.


Rule 4: Alphabetizing based on the Fourth and Fifth letters or surnames (Advanced Alphabetizing)

In this stage, a child will learn how to alphabetize words that are the same as the first three letters (such as seat, seal, and sea) or tricky words such as last names (McAfee, McAuley, and O’Kearney) or book titles that start with The and numbers.

What type of words to use for teaching alphabetical order to the child?

  • spelling words
  • vocabulary words for any subject
  • sight words
  • word family words
  • Nouns/ Pronouns


Why is the ABC order important for a child?

At an early age of development, children are introduced to order, sequencing, unfamiliar words, and phonic sound. ABC order is a building block of learning a language. 

Despite modern technology, alphabetizing is still widely used. It is a lifelong skill commonly used in our day-to-day life. It helps a child achieve mastery in academics. Thus, making it essential to learn and implement. 

The Alphabetical order helps a child to:

  • Find a song on a playlist.
  • Find a phone number in the phone directory or public directories.
  • File a document.
  • Locate a recipe in a recipe box
  • Locate a house, store, or shop.
  • Search for an address in an area
  • Read the index of the book to locate a page
  • Find a book in the library
  • And many more!


How does ABC order help children?

  • It teaches them to put things in order.
  • It builds concentration and memory.
  • It enhances observation.
  • It teaches phonetic principles.
  • It improves vocabulary and language skills.
  • It improves spelling skills.


How to Teach Alphabetizing to Children?

There are many ways to teach it, but here are some methods that work best for teaching alphabetical order:

  • Put word cards in front of the child and ask them to arrange them in alphabetical order.
  • Place objects in a row and ask the child what letter each object begins.
  • Put the objects in a mystery bag and ask them to draw one object and guess the word. Ask the child to put those objects in alphabetical order.
  • Give the child some flashcards and ask them to arrange them in their alphabetical order.

Let the child repeat these alphabetizing activities and inhibit the lifelong learning skills.


Watch the video on alphabetizing and encourage the child to practice using word cards.


Other language activities related to alphabetizing:

  1. Vocabulary name lessons
  2. Beginning sound set 1A
  3. Begining sound set 1B
  4. Beginning sound set 2


For more language resources, click here

Video Created by: Justine McNeilly



  • Elementary
  • English
  • Language