Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction, Second Edition

Author: Marcia K. Henry Ph.D.; Foreword Author: Maryanne Wolf

Format: Paperback, 352 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781598570748
Price: $42.95

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The updated second edition of Unlocking Literacy is here—and now pre- and inservice educators will have the very latest research and practical guidance on teaching good reading and spelling skills. Developed for general and special educators of students from prekindergarten to middle school and beyond, the new edition of this bestselling textbook arms teachers with the most recent developments in reading research and shows them how to apply their knowledge in the classroom to help all students learn.

Focusing on two interlocking skills—decoding and spelling—this textbook gets teachers ready to

  • promote students' print awareness and phonological awareness through letter naming, letter forming, and listening and speaking activities such as poetry and play
  • improve students' spelling skills by teaching the origins of English words, Anglo-Saxon base words, Latin affixes and roots, Greek combining forms, and multisyllabic words
  • help students understand and correctly use the components of the English language, including common consonant and vowel patterns, syllable patterns, common spelling rules, prefixes and suffixes, roots, nonphonetic words, and contractions
  • deepen older students' proficiency with language by introducing less common Latin roots and Greek combining forms, new words entering the English language, and lessons built around themes such as calendars and mythology

To help educators teach with confidence once they're in the classroom, this text is packed with practical, immediately applicable material. Educators will get engaging classroom activities (including 21 NEW activities suitable for use all students, including English language learners); lesson plans incorporating multisensory, language-based instruction; samples of student work; explanations of current research; and even more websites and reference material to strengthen their instruction.

An essential text for college and university courses on reading instruction—and an ideal professional development resource for inservice educators—this new edition of a classic bestseller will help teachers unlock literacy for all their students.


Review: The Midwest Book Review-California Bookwatch
"A 'must have' reference for any language arts of literacy libraryVery highly recommended!"
Review by: Donald D. Deshler, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education and Director, Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas
"Another masterful contribution to the professional literature by one of the education's leading literacy experts. This book provides the practical tools needed to build fluent readers."
Review by: Virginia Berninger, Professor of Educational Psychology, Director of University of Washington Brain Education and Technology--Education Site, and Coordinator, Research Area on Learning Disabilities, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Rese
"Once again Marcia Henry has created a treasure chest of practical teaching tips for helping students coordinate the sound, spelling, and word parts for meaning in learning to read and spell. Research shows this approach works!"
Review by: G. Reid Lyon, Distinguished Professor and Chairman, Department of Education Policy and Leadership, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
"This updated edition, like its predecessor, is the most authoritative text on the origins of English orthography and the development of decoding and spelling skills. A stellar contribution that is a must read for anyone engaged in teaching children to read."
Review by: Louisa Moats, President, Moats Associates Consulting, Inc.
"Since the first edition was published, I have referred to and recommended this wonderful book over and over again. No teacher, especially of intermediate and middle grade students, should be without this book."
Review by: G. Emerson Dickman, Immediate Past President, International Dyslexia Association
"For those who enjoy the thrill of an &#39aha&#39 moment, there is one on every page. If you care about making a difference, this book will be your constant companion."
Review by: Keith E. Stanovich, University of Toronto, author of Progress in Understanding Reading
"Many teachers will be encountering some of this information anew; for others, it will be a refresher course. All, however, will benefit greatly from this important volume."
Review by: Susan Brady, University of Rhode Island and Haskins Laboratories
"A wonderful resource . . . Sharing effective and engaging teaching methods, Marcia Henry shows how to help students across the grades become strong readers and spellers with sophisticated vocabulary knowledge."
Review by: Cheryl Smith Gabig, Speech-Language Pathologist, Lehman College/ City University of New YorkSpeech-Language Pathologist, Lehman College/ City University of New York
"As a speech-language pathologist, I believe this text is a most welcome resource for supporting children with language-learning disabilities in the classroom and in group or individual instruction."

Table of Contents

About the Author
Foreword: Maryanne Wolf

I. Preparation

  1. Decoding and Spelling: Keys to Unlocking Literacy
  2. A Brief History of Written English
  3. Structure of the English Language

II. Instruction

  1. Lesson Fundamentals
  2. First Steps: Early Instruction for Effective Decoding and Spelling
  3. Beginning Readers: Time for the Anglo-Saxon Layer of Language
  4. Advancing Readers: Time for the Latin and Greek Layers of Language
  5. Competent Readers: Extending the Latin and Greek Layers of Language


A. Surveys of Language and Knowledge
B. Nonphonetic Rote Memory Word Lists
C. Compound Words
D. Prefixes
E. Suffixes
F. Latin Roots
G. Greek Combining Forms
H. Words Commonly Found in Textbooks
I. Glossary


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