Page 13 - Ziptales Program Manual - AU
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The Ziptales program provides many resources for Guided or Small Group Reading. As children move
towards the independent reading stage, the teacher’s knowledge of individual students’ reading and writing
behaviours, are used to determine if they are ready for Guided Reading. The 10 level Zip Stage readability
measures and the What is my Ziptales Reading Level? assessment allow groups to be easily formed. Students
doing the test receive a list of approximately 30-40 stories appropriate to their age and reading ability. As with all
Ziptales stories, the primary criterion has always been that the stories work as engaging narratives and not just
words to prove a point of language.

Guided Reading, as well as providing the opportunity for collaborative group learning, can also be a fine way
to develop children’s comprehension skills. This may be a problem for many developing readers who may miss
the cohesive devices used to connect information (from sentence to sentence). There is an opportunity for mini
lessons to be used before a story is read, such as those found in Skill Builders and Specialised English Lessons,
which can reinforce comprehension skills, grammar and punctuation. As well the 1500 reproducible worksheets
(found in the Worksheet tabs under each genre category) are available with both skills based and open ended
creative activities relating to all of the story content.

The full website collection is ideally suited to children ready for Independent Reading and caters for
interest levels up to and beyond age 12. Using the What’s My Ziptales Reading Level? assessment,
teachers can provide students with a set of up to 40 possible choices all within their age and interest range.
Many of the categories in the genre based story collection, such as Scary, Yucky, Adventure and True Tales
were written to entice reluctant readers, often boys.

Michael Morpurgo, in an article entitled When children want to learn they will, puts it well: “We need to give our
young people something no test can measure. That battle between what politicians demand of our schools,
teachers and children, and the holistic needs of the child, can be fought with the passing on of stories, and the
love of storytelling. The best teachers know that, and thank goodness, there are thousands upon thousands of
those.” (Teach Reading and Writing)

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