- Author: Dr. Karen Holinga, Ph.D.
American Spirit continues to guide students through the skill development stage of spelling. Students will read about various people and events from American history, with a gradually increasing reading level. At the same time, the emphasis on the mastery of everyday words continues, building a strong foundation for the next stage of spelling. Just as in the previous level, American Spirit 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 American Spirit?
This level is suggested for a student who spells many common words confidently but who may not be ready for the more advanced reading level and content of Ancient Achievements.
The student should be able to write complete paragraphs comfortably.
The following passage is taken from the previous level of Spelling You See and is written at the minimum reading level for American Spirit. Can your student read it without difficulty?
As a young man, Johnny Appleseed learned how to grow apple trees. When settlers moved into Ohio and Indiana, he planted orchards for them. He also planted orchards of his own and sold trees. Johnny lived simply. He had no house. He walked from place to place. His clothes were ragged. He is remembered for helping many needy people.
Now dictate the passage to your student. Then answer the following questions:
- Was my student able to complete the dictation with relative ease?
- Did my student complete the dictation in 10 minutes or less?
- When writing the passage from dictation, did my student correctly spell at least eight words of the words from this list?
- young, learned, apple, settlers, planted, simply, house, walked, clothes, people
If you answered "Yes" to all these questions, your child is ready to begin American Spirit.
American Spirit provides continued practice in the Skill Development level of spelling using the core activities of chunking, copywork, and dictation. Most children require several years of practice at skill development stage.