Focus Story: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Companion Story: On Market Street by Anita Lobel
Companion Poem: 'The ABC Song'


Day 1

Prior Knowledge:

Fill a beach pail with sand and mix in some plastic alphabet letters.  Have students sit in a circle, placing the pail on a beach towel in the middle of the circle. Let each child take a turn pulling out a letter from the sand.  Ask them to hand the letter to you. Then, see if the class knows the name of the letter. Once all of the letters are pulled from the sand, have students help count how many letters there are altogether.  Stress that there are 26 letters in the alphabet.

Companion Poem: 

Ask students what else they know about letters.  (They may say that letters are in their names, make up words, that they know their ABC's, etc!)  Encourage students to sing the very familiar 'ABC Song' with you.

Focus Story:

Introduce the title, author and illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom; Ask students to look closely at the cover.  What might this book be about?  Have they seen a tree like this before? What is growing in the tree?;  You may wish to share real photos of a coconut tree and locate on a map where these types of trees can be found;  Explain to students that in this story, the very first letter of the alphabet challenges the other letters to join her in climbing this tree; Read aloud for enjoyment and to see what happens to the letters (and the tree)!  You may want to ask some questions as the story is being read the first time, such as the following.

  • Do you think all of the letters will be able to fit up in the top of the tree?  Why or why not?
  • Have you ever climbed a tree?  What was the experience like?
  • What might happen as more letters climb the tree?
  • Why do you think the letters all fell out of the tree? What happened?
  • Have you ever fallen down?
  • What happened when you fell?
  • Did someone come and help you? How did they help?
  • What happened to the letters when they fell down?
  • Where do you think the letters are going as their families help them get up form the letter pile? Why do you think this?

Day 2

Focus Story:

Ask students to share what they remember about the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  (What is the story about? Why might it be called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom? What might not be real in this story?  What are some things that could be real?);

Reread- Shared Reading (Point to the letters in the front of the book as students help to sing the 'ABC Song.' Then at various points in the story, pause to encourage students to join in on the phrase'Chicka chicka boom boom, Will there be enough room?' as well as for certain letters. Students will probably ask to sing the ABC song at the end of the story as well!)

Introduce the Interactive Chart ' Chicka Chicka' (below). Ahead of time, place the class list of names through the slits so that the names will appear one at a time when you slide the strip up and down. Explain to students that instead of letters going up the coconut tree, this time, students will be climbing the tree! Reread the interactive chart, each time sliding one name through.  Aseach child's name is seen in the interactive chart, have the student find their name (on a larger sentence strip) and place it in a nearby pocket chart, on the chalkboard ledge, etc so that it appears higher than it was before.

Chicka Chicka
hicka chicka boom boom!
Will there be enough room?
Here comes _____
up the coconut tree!
(Use letters, names, numbers, sight words, etc. to fill in the blank!)

(In connection to the above activity, you may wish for students to begin construction of the ABC Mural later in the day.)

For phonemic awareness, start by showing students two pictures related to the story at a time.  Are they the same picture or are they different pictures? Next, say the name of the object for two of the pictures.  Are the words the same or are they different? Have students check themselves by displaying the two pictures.  Were they correct?  Once you feel students have a good understanding of 'same' and 'different', have students listen to two different words from the story (not words that correspond to the picture cards).  Some samples are below.

Same : chicka, chicka / boom, boom / dare, dare / tree, tree /  look, look  /  sun, sun
Different  said, rock / room, moon / bed, bug /  me, see  /  tree, tear  /  wiggle, jiggle

Day 3

Focus Story:

Reread Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with the class, letting students join in, similar to yesterday. This time, for the front and back page layouts of the alphabet, choose two different students to point as the class sings or says the ABC's.

Review the 'Chicka Chicka' interactive chart. Today, students will be matching letters using the chart as a guide.  As the letter strip is pulled through the slits in the chart and a letter is revealed, students will take turns finding and moving all of the corresponding magnetic letters.  (For example, as the teacher pulls through the letter 'Aa', students would find and slide all of the magnetic Aa's and group them together.)

Remind students that the letters in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom were originally going up the tree in a certain order. Once all of the letters fell from the tree, they were all mixed up!  Have students help put the letters back into ABC order! Pass out one letter card to each student. As a class, sing the ABC song. Have the student who is holding the current letter being sung, stand up. (Later in the year, pass out pictures that start with each letter of the alphabet and repeat this activity, making it more challenging!)  (If students made their ABC letter person yesterday, you could let them use their creations instead of the letter cards and actually attach the letter people to a long strip of rolled paper to make the ABC Mural!)

Companion Story

Prior Knowledge:  Before sharing On Market Street, show students environmental print of store names that the children in your area would be familiar with.  (Marsh, Kroger, Walmart, KMart, Target, Box Office Video, Halmark, Shoe Carnival, Dunkin Donuts, Toys R Us, JCPenney's, Baskins and Robbins, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.) Let students identify each one and discuss what we would be able to purchase at the various stores.  As you discuss each one, sort the stores by what they sell.

Introduce title, author, and illustrator of On Market Street.  Explain that in this story, a little boy goes shopping, but the stores are all located in one place - on Market Street.    Let students look closely at the very first picture of the little boy glancing down the street.  Let students point out the different stores that they see - one for just apples, flowers, etc.  Take a picture walk letting students orally describe what the little boy probably bought. Stop the picture walk after the letter Z.  Let students predict why the little boy bought all of these items and/or what he might do with them.; Read the story aloud. for enjoyment.


(Make sure to let parents know earlier in the week about this assignment so some can do it ahead of time with their child!)    Ask families to visit their local market and to find one item that starts with the same letter as the first letter in their own name.  Students will bring their item to school and share what they have found starting on Day 4.

Markets by Pamela Chanko would be another good story to share at some point today!


Day 4

Focus Story:

Reread Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with the class, similar to previous days. This time, allow one child to be a helper to point to each of the letters on the pages as the letters climb the coconut tree.

Review the 'Chicka Chicka' interactive chart.  Hand each student their own 'Chicka Chicka' take home chart that has a pull through tab just like the class interactive chart!   Let each child pull their letter strip through the slit in their chart as the entire class rereads 'Chicka Chicka'.

Printable Take Home 'Chicka Chicka' Chart

Have students look closely at the page of letters when they are all heaped in a pile.  What type of letters are these -uppercase or lowercase? Turn the page, and ask students what type of letters are helping the lowercase letters. Explain that just like in the story, when the 'mamas' and the 'papas' helped the lowercase letters up from the ground, they will be working on matching corresponding upper and lowercase letters together!    Have students work in partners or small groups to match uppercase to uppercase, lowercase to lowercase, and uppercase to lowercase. Use clip art or shaped notepads of coconut trees,  beach balls, beach pails, beach shovels, sandcastles, etc.  Place these in the Chicka ABC tub in the ABC Center for students to practice over and over again!

Companion Story and Predictable Chart:

Reread On Market Street- Shared Reading (with students supplying the letter and word that matches the picture.)

Take a photo of each child holding the item that they found at the market. Start a class predictable chart using the phrase frame ' (Name)'s (grocery item).' Example, " Michelle's Macaroni and Cheese"  Write each phrase on chart paper. Reread each phrase tracking the print. This activity is a good combination using names and environmental print!

You may also want to read Market Day: A Story Told With Folk Art by Lois Ehlert at some point during the day.


Day 5

Focus Story:

Round up the rhymes from the story!  Encourage students to listen for the rhyming words that the authors used in this story to make it more enjoyable for the readers!  Reread a few pages from the story, stopping after each page for students to tell you the rhyming words that they hear.

Reread the 'Chicka Chicka' interactive chart with students.  For today, as the letter strip is pulled through and the chart is read, have students match items from On Market Street with letters. Place pictures ofthe items from the story and their corresponding names on the chalkboard in random order. As the chart is read, have students move the magnetic letter underneath the corresponding picture.

Reread Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with the class - but with each child pointing to his/her own book! (Scholastic usually has this title and can be purchased with bonus points for the children to treasure their very own copies!)

Companion Story and Predictable Chart:

Reread On Market Street- Shared Reading (with students supplying the letter and word that matches the picture.)

Complete the writing of the predictable chart, similar to yesterday. Have each child reread his/her phrase, tracking the print.  Cut apart one phrase and let students 'Be the Words' and organize themselves into the correct order.  Read together.  Model how to place each word in the correct order at the top of the page. Then, let each child arrange their words to form their phrase.  After their sentence has been checked, let students glue the words at the top of their own photo page.  Laminate and then bind all of the pages together in order to make a 'Market Street' class book. Place this in the reading corner for students to reread throughout the year!

Possible Cross Curricular Connections


  1. Place the book and tape at the listening center. (Scholastic has the cassette tape with the story being read and sung. Children love it!)
  2. Let students reenact the story with flannel board or a cookie tray and magnetic letters.
  3. Let student manipulate letters and discover what smaller words can be formed from the word 'coconut.' (on, no, to, not, cot, cut, nut, out, count, and coconut!)

Coconut Word Making

4. Create a letter flip book (idea from Victoria at Kinder Korner) and flip through the letters as singing or saying the name of each letter.  Later in the year, as students gain more knowledge of letters and sounds, have students say the name, sound, and a word that begins with each letter!


  1. Make a 'Counting Coconuts' booklet for numeral recognition and matching numerals to sets (1-5)

Counting Coconuts Booklet

2. Have students sort various sizes, colors, and shapes of Band-Aids!
3. Begin learning about coins - starting with the penny.  Set up a small market in the dramatic play area! Use pennies for students to count out and to 'purchase' their items. Or, give each child a certain amount of pennies before doing their cooking project.  Lay out all of the ingredients and place 'prices' near them.  As students come up to get their ingredients, they need to give the teacher/aide the correct number of pennies!


  1. Discuss safety issues of all of the letters (or students!) climbing a tree.

Science and Social Studies:

  1. Learn about the different uses for coconut trees, see photos of the trees and the products, discover the proper way to climb a coconut tree, and read about coconut cooking tips!
  2. Open a coconut and have students taste the coconut milk and meat.  Compare the taste to cow's milk and shredded coconut that we find in our local supermarkets.


1. Make a Chicka Boom Boom Tree from celery, peanut butter, and Alph-Bits cereal! Yum!

2. Create a Chicka Coconut Snack!


  1. Make a class ABC Mural!  Have students color the outline of an alphabet letter.  Students should then add arms, feet, and a head to make a 'letter person'.  On a long sheet of mural paper, have students work together to glue the letters in ABC order. Encourage students to sing the ABC song in order to figure out the letter that should come next!

2. Let students sponge paint the ABC's (in order, randomly, names, etc.)!

3. Create Chicka Chicka Coconut Trees!  Students can place letters on their trees with letter stamps, letters cut from magazine, handwritten letters, letter stickers, Alpha-Bits cereal, etc.

Related Alphabet and Nursery Rhyme Books

Focus Story: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Companion Story: On Market Street by Anita Lobel
Companion Poem: 'The ABC Song'



ABC Books with Letter, Object
26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban
Handsigns: A Sign Language Alphabetby Kathleen Fain
The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg

ABC Books with Letter, Object, Word
Teddy Bears ABC by Susanna Gretz
On Market Street by Arnold Lobel
John Burningham's ABC by John Burningham
The Dominie Alphabet Book by Dominie Press
Paddington's ABC by Michael Bond
V is For Vanishing: An Alphabet of Endangered Animals by Patricia Mullins
Animal Parade by Jakki Wood
Oliver's Alphabets by Lisa Bruce
Clifford's ABC by Norman Bridwell
From Acorn to Zoo and Everything In Between in Alphabetical Order by Satoshi Kitamura

ABC Books with Word and Object
Brian Wildsmith's ABC's by Brian Wildsmith

Guessing ABC Books
It Begins With an A by Stephanie Calmenson
The Alphabet Tale by Jan Garten
A Is For...? by Henry Horenstein

ABC Books with Names
Adelaide to Zeke by Janet Wolf
Alphabears: An ABC Book by Kathleen Hague

ABC Books with Letter, Picture, and Short Phrases or Sentences
The Alphabet Book by PD Eastman
Tomorrow's Alphabet by George Shannon
The Letters are Lost by Lisa Campbell
Alphabet by Publications international
Black and White Rabbit's ABC by Alan Baker
Where is Everybody? An Animal Alphabet by Eve Mirriam
L is For Loving: An ABC for the
Way You Feel by Ken Wilson-Max
Animal Action ABC by Nancy Sheehan

Alphabet Stories
Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth
The Great Alphabet Fight by Joni Eareckson Tada
The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni
Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming

ABC Books with Letter and Lots of Pictures
Grandpa's Great City Tour by James Stevenson
ABC Discovery! by Izhar Cohen
A, B, See! by Tana Hoban


 Nursery Rhymes:

The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock by Jim Aylesworth
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Iza Trapani
The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
Mary Had a Little Lamb by Iza Trapani
I'm a Little Teapot by Iza Trapani
If the Shoe Fits by Alison Jackson
The Enormous Watermelon by Brenda Parkes
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Engine Number Nine by Stephanie Calmenson
Old Mother Hubbard by Alice Provensen
Rain by Rozanne Lanczak Williams
Baa Baa Black Sheep by Iza Trapani
Little Miss Muffet's Count-Along Surprise by Emma Chichester Clark
Greggory Griggs and Other Nursery Rhyme People by Arnold Lobel
Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk

Related Internet Resources

ABC Links
ABC Ideas - ideas (with photos) for each letter at Little Giraffes
Mrs. Alphabet - a ton of ABC links! 
Alphabet Coloring Book - free printables from Alphabet Soup
Alphabet Coloring Pages - from Crafts for Kids
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - from A to Z Teacher Stuff
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - lesson from Webbing Into Literacy
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - from Teaching is a Work of the Heart
Printable Alphabet Materials - from First School
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Printables - from DLTK
Mini ABC Books - free printables from DLTK
ABC Printables - from ABC Teach
Letter and Rhyme a Day - inside Hubbard's Cupboard

Nursery Rhyme Links
Nursery Rhyme Rhyme Printables - from First School
Words to Nursery Rhymes -inside Hubbard's Cupboard
Kindergarten Rhyme Time - activities for a family night - inside Hubbard's Cupboard
Nursery Rhymes: Tales to Live By - What can we learn from our favorite nursery rhymes?
Stories From Rainbows Edge - In depth questions for nursery rhymes, printable nursery rhyme puzzles, etc.