Alphabetical Order (Words)
All the words in a dictionary are listed alphabetically.

Alphabetical Order (Words)

This quiz looks at the alphabetical order of words. It asks children to alphabetise groups of words. This game builds upon the National Curriculum's expectation that all KS1 children know the order of the alphabet. This quiz is an extension to the Alphabetical Order (Letters) quiz and is designed for Year 2 pupils. It will help with their command of literacy and, of course, the English language.

When putting words in alphabetical order, we focus on the first letter of each word. To make sure the words are in the correct order, you may need to sing the alphabet in your head each time.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
Put these words in order: seat, car, wheel, engine.
car, engine, seat, wheel
wheel, engine, seat, car
engine, car, seat, wheel
car, engine, wheel, seat
If you get stuck, it's worth writing the words down and highlighting, with a pencil, the first letter of each word.
Put these words in order: face, nose, eyes, mouth.
eyes, face, nose, mouth
face, eyes, mouth, nose
eyes, mouth, nose, face
eyes, face, mouth, nose
Even though there are many letters in-between 'f' and 'm', we have to order the words we have available.
Look at the second letter to help you. Put these words in order: gas, grass, gold, gum.
gas, gold, grass, gum
gum, gold, grass, gold
gas, gum, grass, gold
gas, gold, gum, grass
Because all the words we are ordering begin with the letter 'g', we look at the second letter each time.
Put these words in order: ship, captain, sea, open, sailors, ocean.
captain, ship, ocean, open, sailors, sea
captain, ocean, open, sailors, sea, ship
ocean, open, sailors, sea, captain, ship
captain, sea, ship, sailors, open, ocean
This was a hard one because there were three words beginning with 's' and two beginning with 'o'. Now imagine how hard it must have been to alphabetise all the words that are in the dictionary!
Put these words in order: red, yellow, pink, purple
pink, red, yellow, purple
pink, yellow, red, purple
pink, purple, red, yellow
pink, purple, yellow, red
It is easier to order all the first letters and then, if there are words that begin with the same letter - order them next.
'dog, fox...' If these are in alphabetical order, which word would come next?
We look at the words available and see which one would be the next nearest letter.
Put these words in order: cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, farm.
farm, pigs, sheep, chickens, cows
chickens, cows, farm, pigs, sheep
pigs, sheep, cows, chickens, farm
cows, chickens, farm, pigs, sheep
The library is alphabetised to help you find a book. Without that order, it could take a very long time to find your favourite story.
Put these words in order: school, teacher, pupil, book, work.
book, pupil, teacher, school, work
book, pupil, school, work, teacher
school, work, teacher, pupil, book
book, pupil, school, teacher, work
If you have large groups of words to order, it's worth putting them in groups: you know words that have 'wxyz' would be towards the end and 'abcd' would be at the beginning.
Put these words in order: snow, ice, cold, winter, freezing
cold, ice, freezing, snow, winter
cold, freezing, ice, snow, winter
cold, freezing, ice, winter, snow
snow, freezing, winter, cold, ice
If there are two words that start with the same letter, then we look at the second letter in those words.
'Apple, banana...' If these words are in alphabetical order, which word comes next?
The next letter would be 'c'. We don't always order words that come after each other (like abc), sometimes we find the next nearest letter.
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - What is alphabetical order?

Author:  Finola Waller

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