Teaching Your Children To Read Using the Book of Mormon is a course that has been adapted from the tutoring manual authored by Dr. Grant Von Harrison, noted authority on effective reading instruction. It is provided to students via Canvas. Unit 1 is for children who are at least 5 years of age and have not yet completed the second grade. It is designed to teach the basic aspects of reading.
Teaching Your Children To Read Using the Book of Mormon is a course that has been adapted from the tutoring manual authored by Dr. Grant Von Harrison, noted authority on effective reading instruction. It is provided to students via Canvas.
Teaching Your Children to Read Using the Book of Mormon has been designed specifically to make it possible for Latter-day Saint parents to be effective in their effort to teach reading. It is easy to use and provides specific instruction on how to teach the most critical aspects of reading. No matter how inexperienced parents may be, if they follow the techniques and procedures specified, they will discover that they can teach their primary grade children to read and improve the reading ability of their older children.
Unit 1 is for children who are at least 5 years of age and have not yet completed the second grade. It is designed to teach the basic aspects of reading. Children must master these basic skills before they can deal with more advanced aspects of reading.
This Unit consists of eight chapters. Access these chapters by clicking on “Modules” in the course menu. Twenty-five letter sounds are introduced, and the child is taught to blend letter sounds to form words. Each chapter provides practice in decoding phonetic words. Thirteen names are introduced. (eg., Lehi, Nephi, Sariah) and children learn to read twenty-eight common sight words (eg., the, is, was). More importantly, each lesson provides practice reading sentences and reading for meaning. In addition, they learn to read some words in context. By the end of the course, children are familiar with eight stories associated with First Nephi. As children progress through the chapters, they become acquainted with the story of Lehi and his followers departing into the wilderness and their voyage to America.
Generally speaking, if a child completes and masters even some of the chapters covered in Unit 1, a child will be considered advanced in terms of reading readiness. If children are in the first or second grade, their reading ability will generally improve as a result of completing the chapters in this course. In those cases when first or second graders are already advanced readers, the chapters will provide them a review of basic reading skills and teach them about Lehi and his followers. Even gifted children who have not completed the second grade will benefit. Care has been taken in designing the materials to ensure the needs of children of various abilities are accommodated.
If children in kindergarten complete the chapters in this unit, you shouldn’t start the chapters in Unit 2 until they are ready for 1st grade. If children are in first or second grade and complete the chapters in this course, go on to Unit 2.
As a rule, a student who completes Unit 1 will be able to cover the first few chapters in Unit 2 very quickly.
This reading program is based on the Structured Tutoring model designed by Dr. Harrison after two decades of researching the best methods for teaching reading. Selected for the National Diffusion Network, nominated as a promising practice in Right to Read and written up in the Harvard Education Review, Structured Tutoring and its classroom version have had a significant impact on thousands of parents, teachers and tens of thousands of students over the years.
This reading program contains each of the four focuses of the National Reading Panel’s recommendations:
- Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness (words can be broken into smaller sounds)
- Systematic phonics instruction (blending and non-word reading)
- Methods to improve fluency (reading rate exercises)
- Ways to enhance comprehension (vocabulary building and reading comprehension passages)
All units are delivered via Canvas, the learning management system used by Ensign Peak Academy. The units are divided into bite-sized learning topics to help children learn to read and write one step at a time.
The course includes clear Guidelines, as well as General Techniques and Procedures, and an easy to use sound guide.
Harrison’s work also followed the recommendations of Educational Programs that Work and Effective School’s research. The report found that there are unique characteristics and processes common to education where all children are learning, regardless of family background, or aptitude, which was commonly thought to be the determinant as to whether a child could learn to read or not. Harrison’s Structured Tutoring model and also the classroom model have proven to be effective for all children, especially those thought to be unable to master reading for all of the common explanations of failure to learn.
Research has shown that the root cause of failure of a child to learn to read is the inability to blend letter sounds to form words. Based on this finding, procedures are provided in this course for teaching children to blend letter sounds. In addition, the lessons cover other critical aspects of reading. In the lessons it is explained how to:
- Teach letter sounds and basic attack skills (blending individual sounds to form words)
- Teach the most frequently encountered sight words (those whose pronunciation must be memorized (e.g., the, where)
- Teach phonetic rules
- Teach students to read fluently and comprehend what they read
The only way to ensure that children are proficient in their ability to “decode” or sound out words, is to give them extensive practice reading phonetically regular words which have not been encountered previously. The surest way to do this, is to have them read nonsense words (e.g., faf, thexcon, brime). For this reason, the child is given practice decoding nonsense words to ensure their ability to decode new words that haven’t been encountered before.
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a perfect text for teaching reading because in the process of reading the Book of Mormon, the critical sub-skills of reading are practiced over and over again. Children who can read the Book of Mormon fluently do not experience difficulty reading other materials.