- Author: Dr. Karen Holinga, Ph.D.
In Americana, students will read nonfiction stories about American history and culture while learning to spell new words in an interesting context. Americana utilizes the three core activities of Spelling You See: chunking – which provides hands-on experience with English's many irregular letter patterns, copywork – which requires the brain to pay attention to details in print, and dictation – which gives an opportunity for student to demonstrate decoding and encoding in a meaningful context.
Is Your Child Ready for Americana?
This level is suggested for a student who is a proficient reader with gradually improving spelling skills.
The student should be able to write an entire paragraph comfortably.
The following passage is taken from the previous level of Spelling You See and is written at the minimum reading level for Americana. Can your student read it without difficulty?
Seahorses are fish, but they are not like other fish. Seahorses swim upright. They have a curved neck. They do not have scales. Their fins are very small, so they swim poorly. A seahorse uses its tail to hold onto sea grasses. A group of seahorses is called a herd — just like a herd of horses!
Now dictate the passage to your student. Then answer the following questions:
- Was my student able to complete the dictation with relative ease?
- Was my student able to complete the dictation in 10 minutes or less?
- When writing the passage from dictation, did my student correctly spell at least ten of the words from this list?
- fish, like, other, swim, have, curved, neck, small, tail, group, herd, horses
If you answered "Yes" to all these questions, your child is ready to begin Americana.
Americana will provide opportunities for students to study words in the context of stories about events and people in American history. Students will mark various letter patterns, copy passages, and practice writing the stories from dictation.