Learning and teaching literacy can be fun, and this website is seriously dedicated to showing how—as a visitor put it––one can put the fun back in this fundamental of education, and show how this approach can help deliver effective literacy instruction.
Here we outline the variety of “cognitive tools” on which this approach rests. We will briefly describe each “tool”—such as story, metaphor, images, binary oppositions, and so on––and then give some quick examples of how each can lead to distinct approaches to teaching specific literacy skills.
This section demonstrates how the principles established earlier can be used to design frameworks to assist the teacher in planning literacy lessons and units. Sample frameworks will be provided for teaching such everyday topics as homonyms and the use of the comma. These frameworks involve using many of the tools in combination. In some senses the frameworks might be seen simply as organized reminders of the set of cognitive tools the teacher can count on to engage the students’ imaginations in the topics at hand.
These tips are all brief lesson plans showing how individual cognitive tools can directly lead to effective literacy learning. There are scores of ideas, organized in a general age-appropriate sequence, from pre-school to adult.
“Learning in Depth” (LID) is a program that was developed a few years ago in association with attempts to engage students’ imaginations in learning—rather as the ILP program seeks to do with regard to literacy. It is, however, a slightly odd program, designed to enable each student to become an expert on something specific. A little to our surprise, the program seems to encourage student’ literacy development, so it seemed worthwhile to add some information about the program here, with some instructions about how to try it out for those who might be intrigued by it.