Download our new “Imaginative Literacy: A Brief Guide for Teachers.” and forward copies to all your friends who are interested in teaching literacy.


Teaching Literacy:
Engaging the imagination of new readers and writers.

By Kieran Egan.

Appendix by Gillian Judson.

Corwin Press.

[2006 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist
USA Book News “Best Books 2006” Award finalist.]


“Great Book Jan 12, 2009 — I bought this book for Christmas for my girlfriend, an aspiring SLP focusing on literacy. She absolutely loves it, says it’s very easy to read, and cannot wait to use the classroom applications in real life. “ From: BetterWorldBooks

“A fascinating piece of writing, presenting ideas that are fresh and exciting.”
Taddie Kelly, Literacy Coach and Reading Interventionist
Waco Independent School District, TX.

“Focuses on enhancing students’ metalinguistic awareness and not just their intuitive use of words, fostering the development of higher mental functions.”
Elena Bodrova, Senior Researcher, McREL

“A fun, revealing guide . . . Offers a new approach designed to present classroom teachers with intriguing, different activities. Chapters offer challenges for student and teacher alike and encourage lessons which are refreshingly different.” The Midwest Book Review, August 2006

“A new approach that focuses on teaching core literacy skills using concepts ranging from fascinating to exotic to magnificent to weird. By framing the elements of literacy in the unforgettable, students more readily internalize and retain material, not only preparing them for tests, but also instilling a lifelong love of reading and writing.”


Collinge, J., & Egan, K. (1993). Rhetoric and the preservation of imaginative literacy. Educational Perspectives, 28(1), 18-22.

Egan, K. (2002). Cognitive tools and the acquisition of literacy. Working Papers on Literacy. Montreal: The Centre for Literacy.

Egan, K. (1987). Literacy and the oral foundations of education. Harvard Educational Review, 57, 445-472.

Egan, K., & Gajdamaschko, N. (2003). Some cognitive tools of literacy. In A. Kozulin, B. Gindis, V. S. Ageyev, & S. M. Miller (Eds.), Vygotsky’s educational theory in context (pp. 83-98). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McKellar, R. (2007). Another Kind of Story: Using the Techniques of Imaginative Education to Develop Literacy in the Elementary School Classroom.


McKellar, R. (2006). Opening the doors to dreamland:  Developing literacy and engagement through Imaginative Education. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada.

Colleagues’ work

Look at the imaginative way in which Dr. Bugra Zengin uses visual images, metaphors, and other memory techniques to make the English tense-aspect system easier to learn and apply for ESL students. He describes his research and exemplifies its successes in teaching. This is a sophisticated and effective model.

Numerical/Visual Elaboration of the Temporal Distance in Teaching Tense-Aspect Distinctions in English