Ziptales is an online literacy “library” designed for school and home use. Ziptales has been a leader in the field of online literacy for more than 12 years.
It is based on the latest research about how children develop and sustain a love of reading. The Ziptales “library” was built by trained teachers with the express purpose of making reading a pleasurable and lifelong experience.
At the core of the Ziptales mission is the recognition that children will do best when they read for “for pleasure, to be informed and to perform a task” (Beverly Tyner, The Literacy Jigsaw Puzzle, IRA 2012).
For example, a child who reads a scary story, or a mystery ‘whodunnit’, will instinctively engage with the reading. Reading the story (for pleasure) will raise their skill level without them even being aware of the process.
Every text has a voiceover – read by a professional actor. This is a great way not only of modelling good reading, but of sustaining interest in the text.
Each story ends with a fill the gaps test (a relatively easy quiz) and a multiple choice (more challenging).
If the child does not score more than 5/10, they are prompted to “Have another go”. They can reread the text, and get 10/10 – in short, they can find their own way to “master” the text. This is after all how reading normally works. Even adults reread selectively to extract the most out of the experience.
Ziptales puts the teacher (or parent) at the centre of all decision making about the individual child’s needs. Only they really know which stories, or poems, or lessons, are appropriate to their class or child. No automated reading program can possibly know this.
Ziptales encourages teachers and parents to see it as a vast “library” of possible reading experiences, out of which they can pick the material which best suits their children.
These resources are designed especially for Developing Literacy F-2 (Year 1 and Year 2). These are the early years, where children are being taught to read, and can deal with simple texts.
The texts here vary from learning the ABC, through simple phonics based texts, and on to more complex whole stories. There are 250+ texts in this section.
Joke in a Box
Make and Do
Specialised English Lessons (SEL)
These resources are designed especially for Extending Literacy Years 3 - 6. These texts assume children are competent readers, and need lots of practice at different levels of ability.
The overall approach is to offer a wide range of genres to cater for a variety of interests. Every story comes with two interactive comprehension quizzes and worksheets. There are a total of 400+ texts in this section.
Children in History
Choose Your Own Adventure
Myths & Legends
These resources focus on explicit teaching of key concepts. There are lessons on grammar, punctuation, spelling, comprehension, writing (all genre types) as well as a suite of special lessons instructing children in basic skills such as decoding types of text, writing paragraphs, analysing language, effective oral communication and so on.
All lessons come with worksheets. There are a total of 200 texts in this section.
Make & Do
Specialised English Lessons (SEL)
As well as the 500+ content modules on Ziptales (stories, poems, puzzles, videos, projects, documentaries, etc), there are worksheets for follow up class work. These can be downloaded and photocopied at will.
Once you become a subscriber, you have your own dashboard when you log in. The dashboard will depend on what type of user you are.
For school teachers or admin staff to access all areas of Ziptales including worksheets, program details, and other resources to help make the most out of the Ziptales experience.
A much more simplified version of Ziptales, which is designed for students to go straight into their story selections.
For parent’s or guardians using Ziptales at home. This dashboard offers similar features to the teacher’s dashboard with extensive resources. Worksheets are provided for parents to offer homework to their children. These parent accounts are included in our optional homework licence for schools, or can be purchased individually by parents / guardians.
Ziptales offers schools who have a dedicated IP address (a technical term for a school with a fixed internet number), to have automatic logins throughout the whole school.
As we already have made Ziptales SUPER EASY to log into with a SINGLE login that is shared throughout the whole school (which is especially great for the little ones), we have taken it a step further to allow for every device and computer at your school to be automatically logged into Ziptales at all times.
This makes life a lot easier and no need for your students to worry about trying to remember their username and password, and no need to spend half the class trying to reset passwords.
Using Ziptales, simply access us on your computer, laptop or device, and away you go!
Ziptales is a primary literacy program. It was created with the aim of making reading a pleasure. Its philosophy is to offer a vast range of reading experiences, very much like a digital version of a real library, where above all the child actually enjoys the reading.
Ziptales was founded by two ex-teachers, Richard and Valerie McRoberts. Richard has been a writer, editor and publisher working at all levels of primary and secondary publishing. He has a Masters in Education and specialised in literature and reading. Valerie was a teacher, editor and publisher. She has an Honours degree in Literature, as well as a Masters in Education, specialising in “gifted” education. Both had previously been directors of a successful print publishing company (Wizard Books), with sales throughout Australia and overseas.
For schools, Ziptales is available as a whole school site licence (see the “Pricing” area). The fee is structured around the size of the school. We also offer two or three year pre-paid licences at discount rates, as well as our NEW home licence allowing your students to use Ziptales at home as well. For this home licence, we have dedicated worksheets for parents to use with their children, or for teachers to use as homework tasks.
Schools can subscribe as a whole – the most economical way of taking the service - or ask for a single class licence. If a school wants to add on a “homework” licence (access from the children’s home computers), this is possible at a small extra cost. Just get in touch with us or see our "Pricing" page.
Ziptales will work on any type of computer, both PC and Mac, as well as any device like iPad or Android Tablet. All you need to do is go to ziptales.com in your local browser (we recommend using Google Chrome as it is the fastest and free).
It is important for teachers to know that there is a whole “Staffroom” of essential information and class support. We also offer amazing phone and email support.
Every year, Ziptales adds new content, as part of our pact with teachers to continually “refresh” the site. It is important for schools to read the regular newsletters, to keep up with what is new.
Ziptales is focussed on the pleasure of the child’s reading experience, and sees “assessment” as secondary. There is no automatic “tracking” of children’s scores. We ask teachers to use one of the two tracking devices (see “Staffroom - How to - Student Tracking”) to record what their children have read and what scores obtained.
Yes! The first 150+ stories are now available to view on the iPad and we are working hard on the rest. To view them just go to www.ziptales.com on your iPad device and you will be re-directed automatically.