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Before any reading or writing task, talk about the topic. Build vocabulary and schema, known as knowledge about the topic. 


"The shtetl was a small town where all the people lived and worked and worshiped together. Everyone was very happy, but one day..."

Reading and writing can incorporate any word. Sometimes, stretch the lesson beyond easy three-letter words. 



"The word is spelled a - m - b - i - d - e-  x-  t - r - o - u - s." 

The topic should be age-appropriate and meaningful.  

"This book is titled How to Succeed in Life after Thirty. That's about my life!" 


Reading and writing can be taught simultaneously.

"What was the main idea of the story?"

Learn both printing and cursive. There are many different tasks requiring one or both forms. 


"I prefer always to print because I can 'fudge' the differences between lower-case letters and upper-case letters."


"Yes, but remember that it's important to obey the rules of capitalization in both print and cursive."   

Define the needs and interests of the learners.  Use the TV Guide, the Horoscope, the weather chart, the stock market report, the bus schedule, etc. 



"I need to read the airline arrivals and departures. My son needs to find his favorite programs on television."

Decoding skills include reading from left to right, and from top to bottom.



In order to write, a person needs to have a developed fine muscle coordination. It is helpful to move gradually from large to small movements. 

"I couldn't manage to write with a pencil until I practiced with the small muscles of my hands, arms, and fingers."