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Communication from Alphabet to Zip Codes

Updated on November 8, 2014

A unit study about different forms of communication

This unit study covers different forms of communication from past, present and future. Each letter of the alphabet introduces a different form of communication with a brief write up about it. Then there is a worksheet or activity to accompany the topic and enhance the basics of English, Math, History, Science, Art and more. By combining an interesting topic with fun, learning activities we can inspire children to learn, and keep them wanting to learn!

A is for advertising

B is for braille

C is for cave art

D is for dolphins

E is for ESP

F is for fire

G is for Gutenburg

H is for holograms

I is for ink

J is for jokes

K is for knots

L is for lie detector

M is for music

N is for non-fiction

O is for onomatopoeia

P is for post-it notes

Q is for QWERTY

R is for Rosetta Stone

S is for sign language

T is for telegraph

U is for universal translator

V is for ventriloquism

W is for wireless

X is for x-ray

Y is for yelling

Z is for zip codes

A is for Alphabet;

What better topic to start our study on communication than the alphabet! The term alphabet means a writing system that has a single letter for each sound. It was developed because it meant an easier system for remembering than the previous picture type writing that could contain hundreds of symbols.

Did You Know?

The Hawaiian alphabet only has 13 letters!

picture from wikimedia commons
picture from wikimedia commons

B is for Braille

Louis Braille was only 10 when he went blind and 15 when he created the system of braille used to help blind people read and write! His system has six raised dots that can be read by gently gliding fingers over the dots. Each dot or group of dots represents a letter in the alphabet as well as numbers and punctuation signs

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

C is for Cave Art

Cave paintings (pictographs) and petroglyphs (pictures engraved in cave walls) were forms of communication created by prehistoric peoples from approximately 10,000 B.C.E. to modern times . These pictures would often cover the cave walls and would tell legends, myths and stories of adventure.

D id for Dolphin

Dolphins themselves are not a form of communication but the way they can communicate both with each other and with humans deserves a mention. Dolphins use two forms of communication - echolocation and vocalization.

Did You Know?

Some blind people use echolocation to get around too!

E is for ESP

Extra-Sensory Perception is the ability to perceive things with just the mind and not using the other senses. Whether ESP actually exists has been a topic of debate for many years.

Extra-Sensory Perception - fact or fiction? You decide..

F is for Fire

Since Ancient Greek times fires have been used to send signals over large distances. Bonfires, torches, smoke signals and flares all involve communication with fire. Many times, fires were used to signal danger.

G is for Gutenberg: H is for Holograms

Gutenberg invented the first printing press which led to the first book to be printed.


Holograms are 3 dimensional images of an object. A camera records an image in 2D making it flat. Holography records an image in 3D so you can see its sides and its back.

But how can holograms be used in communication?

How it's Made

I is for Ink

Ink has long been used for writing, with feathers and now with pens. It is an important part of communication.

The quill pen, which required dipping into an ink well was the most used writing tool for a thousand years. Once pens with internal ink reservoirs were established there became a competition as to the different ways this reservoir filled.

Did You Know?

The first ballpoint pen was sold in the United States in 1945. It cost $9.45!

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

J is for Jokes

Jokes have been around since 1900 BCE with surprising similar characters and situations. Scientists and philosophers have been studying humour for over 2000 years. Why we find certain jokes funny, and what it tells us about humans.

Join the search for the world's best joke.

K is for knots

picture from wikimedia commons
picture from wikimedia commons

From the quipu of the Incas to mark twain. Find out what knots have communicated over the years!

L is for lie detector

M is for Music

Has music ever spoke to you? Do you feel emotions when you are listening to music? Then you already know one way that music can communicate.

N is for non-fiction

Non-fiction is a type of writing that is based on truth and/or facts. Encyclopedias, biographies, diaries and more all help us to enter into a world of facts and information. It communicates to us something important.

O is for Onomatopoeia

When you use a word to describe a sound and that word mimics the sound, then you have used onomatopoeia. For example, a doorbell rings ding-dong and a bumble bee will buzz.

Q is for QWERTY: R is for Rosetta Stone

QWERTY refers to the first line of letters on a typewriter or computer keyboard. When the typewriter was first invented it could jam easily if typing was too fast. The QWERTY keyboard spaced out the more common letters in order to slow typers down.

If you have ever tried to learn a new language you know how difficult it is to read a book written in a different language. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone helped linguists understand some ancient languages that they couldn't read before. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient stone containing three scripted languages all translating the same text.

S is for Sign Language

picture from wikimedia commons
picture from wikimedia commons

T is for Telegraph

In 1844 Samuel Morse created a way to send coded messages from one location to another using an electromagnetic current with the telegraph. He also invented a code using dots and dashes to send messages along the current.

U is for Universal Translator

Jump into the future to speculate what forms of communication we might have there. Thanks to science-fiction novels, movies and TV shows there are some possibilities to consider. How much would communication improve if language wasn't a barrier? Or would that actually be an improvement?

V is for Ventriloquism

Ventriloquism is an illusion of sound. A person "throws their voice" so that it appears to be coming from somewhere else. Often, ventriloquists use puppets in entertainment acts.

Often, ventriloquism can be used as a therapy to help shy people express themselves and communicate better.

W is for Wireless

Wireless transfers communication between two points even when those points are not connected. This can include a short distance like from the remote control to the television, or a long distance like a cell phone call to another country.

X is for X-ray, Y is for Yelling and Z is for Zip Codes

The unit study concludes with a way to tell us if our bones are broken, a not so nice form of communication and a special code that helps get mail to where it needs to be.

To find out about ALL the forms of communication from A to Z download the full unit study.

For the complete unit study message us through hedremp at yahoo dot ca

About the author

I am an experienced home educator with a passion for writing. Joining together these two passions I create interesting unit studies for my children, and now for yours!

I am owner and operator of an educational resource centre where our focus is on making learning fun!

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    • savenlives profile image

      savenlives 5 years ago

      I love it!! Very creative