ls will give a listing of the directory(ies) you put on the command line, or current directory if you put nothing. eg:
~% ls /usr /media
cdrom cdrom0 floppy floppy0 usb usb0
bin games include lib lib64 libexec local sbin share src X11R6
Since type /[a-h]* is equivalent to typing /bin /boot /dev /doc /etc /home (since bash expands it before sending to ls) you get the listing of all of those directories.
Alt+* means you have to hold down shift when typing the 8 key or use the keypad