Literacy Innovations

Overviews, advance-organizers, catch-up, self-help and extension materials for teachers and learners to copy, use and develop freely,with acknowledgment
on the web or available as email attachments
Titles and content are Creative Commons copyright.

INDEX - June 2006

  • Turnabout reading book - The Story of the Old Gray Man. pdf to download
  • 'Cluey' reading and spelling books - The Magic Migrant
  • 'Hi-Lite' print ideas- Calendar of the Months -
  • Multi-level reading book - The Travels of Maldun (to come)
  • A different magic story - The QCumber Shop - to come
  • A junior book of Social inventing - non-fiction creative writing and reading. Constructive literacy
  • Junior book of Quotations
  • Shakespeare in Quotations - Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Marlowe's Dr Faustus
  • Aladdin's Wonderful Grammar
  • Recommended reading - Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia
TESTS THAT TEACH - Self-testing that helps the learner and the teacher
WEB-SITES and WEB PAGES on literacy, writing systems and spelling that can be down-loaded and copied

Index pages

  • 'Fast track' Reading books,
  • Standards- individual projects
  • Time and space classroom projects
  • Print in your hands - Print Encyclopedia in classrooms, especially pre-1968 Arthur Mee
  • Spelling List - 6000 words structured to increase visual span and understanding
  • Spelling Games - for understanding more about spelling and writing systems


  • Video - Preparing To Read Thru Play. Children using play and play materials in a Scottish nursery school.
  • ABC chart, plastic letters and play-tray, multipurpose and developmentally
  • Spelling jingle-dangles
  • Wall chart syllabus - example of a wall chart for Year 1 Maths
  • Tables & number summary - color patterns to discover them

These copyright literacy innovations can be freely downloaded and copied for teaching and learning

See the English writing system from scratch

A set of 22 lessons

  1. Hearing sounds in words.
  2. Learning the ABC.
  3. Letters and sounds.
  4. Letters and sounds in words.
  5. Vowel sounds a e i o u.
  6. Reading 3-letter words.
  7. Long vowels A E I O U.
  8. All the 19 vowel sounds.
  9. Reading the most common words.
  10. Coping with silly spelling.
  11. Why English spelling is silly.
  12. Old English spelling patterns.
  13. French spelling patterns.
  14. Old Greek spelling patterns.
  15. Latin spelling patterns.
  16. Breaking up long words.
  17. Working out new words from Latin - their beginnings, middles and ends.
  18. Detail of the last 9 vowel sounds.
  19. Tips to work out hard spellings.
  20. Reading what you want to read.
  21. Checklist for learners - What you have found out,and what you knew already?

    Tip. Look over all the lessons quickly, before you start to learn each step.

About the innovative story and book materials

for learning to read faster and develop independent reading, that can be used in beginners' and mixed ability classes.

  1. Turnabout Stories for alternate reading by a beginner and a more experienced reader, so that beginners can have a good story from very early on, learn to read more difficult text by looking on, and build up their own reading vocabulary and skills, from catching on to the whole story in print.

    Sentences in a story for paired reading are alternately easy (for the learner to read) and more difficult (for parent, teacher, friend, older child to read) and develop reading skills quickly from catching on to the whole story in print.

    The Travels of Maldun, part 1.
  2. Multi-level and Double-Decker Books contain the same basic story or information at two to three levels of difficulty on the same double-page, so that the book can be used in a mixed ability classroom without arousing invidious comparisons. The slower learners can be tempted to try reading the more difficult passages to get more detail about the story, and the brighter learners can look across to the easy passages if they need help for the harder text.
  3. Hi-Light books and stories - making Print more interesting.To aid learners in decoding for meaning faster. You can hi-light children's books yourself to help young readers and older readers can help. A book can be all in one HI-LIGHT, or have different HI-LIGHTS on different pages or different paragraphs.
    1. Word Hi-Light shows sentence-structure. Nouns stand out in green and the vowels stand out in red.
    2. Word-Structure Hi-Light hi-lights vowels, so that vowel-consonant structure of words is clarified.
    3. Surplus Hi-Lightclarifies word structure. Silent letters are faded to grey.
    4. Silly-spelling Hi-Light warns learners of spelling traps. Irregular spellings are in another, lighter color.
    5. Cluey Books. If the young reader cannot read a difficult noun, they can lift a little flap and underneath is the picture. (This is more useful than books in which the picture is above and readers lift the flap to read the word underneath.)
  4. Aladdin's Wonderful Grammar. The story of Aladdin told in a series of passages in which the first passage on a page illustrates a point of grammar or punctuation, and the student has to think about the point by using the next passage as a demonstration exercise.

vy's Funny Literacy Innovations

Materials that you can make yourselves from these Web pages.

a) ABC Frieze with pictures like the letter-shapes, and its many uses

b) ABC Picture-Charts used with Plastic Letters and home-made Play-Trays.

c) Story Jigsaw. Each jigsaw piece contains a complete word from a story, to match on an A3 base which has the story.

d) Vowel Sounds Chart All the vowel sounds with funny faces and spelling patterns in words and pictures.

e). Jingle-Dangles Spelling pattern mobiles.


Materials you can mostly make

Designed so that learners can use their intelligence,

develop their imagination and humour,

have an overview of where they are going,

and be reminded of where they have been

or missed out or got confused,

and understand English spelling, so that memorising is not by blind-rote.


The principle is economy and 'chunking' in learning.

The clue is to apply all learning immediately to reading books, not doing more activities.

Methods of learning to read can be still back in the dark ages in spite of more expensive technologyThey may have little more to enthuse learners about actually reading, if they are not lucky enough to have a first class teacher.

This potluck can be less unfair when innovatory materials can help learners to learn faster. Then Learners need not be at the mercy of any of the many ideologies Teachers can have more ideas to use, and Learners can have more chance to use their own brains
to help themselves.

Some of these materials are already available. Others require funding to produce for wider use. Everyone is welcome to use and copy them. Please tell me how you get on and how you would improve them. Research evaluations are welcomed.