Picture Me Reading is a visual-conceptual method of teaching the alphabet and the 220 high frequency sight words, or ‘service words’ known as Dolch words.
For a list of the 220 Dolch words
Common practice is to teach early reading primarily using a phonics approach, with sight words acquired eventually, after multiple experiences of decoding each word using phonics. Unfortunately, children with a visual learning style struggle to learn to read phonetically, becoming discouraged and reluctant. Other children become chronic ‘sound-it-out-ers’, decoding every word, including words they have already mastered.
Many of the high-frequency words cannot be decoded using simple phonics, i.e. ‘the’, ‘here’, ‘one’ and ‘who’. The Picture Me Reading visual-conceptual method eliminates the need to try to explain the many exceptions to the “rules” which occur when all vocabulary is taught by using phonics. Once a core of basic sight words has been committed to memory, children generally go on to master phonics rules and generalizations more easily and efficiently, as well as reading more fluently and with greater comprehension.
How Picture Me Reading Works:
Each Picture Me Reading card has a pictograph (or picture cue) embedded in the word. On the flip side of each card is the word or letter without the pictograph, but with an auditory cue (a sentence explaining each pictograph word) underneath.
This multi-sensory approach helps the early reader master sight words quickly, along with the concept, meaning and use of the word in aural and written language. This makes the program ideal for children or adults learning English as an additional language, as well.
Once a child has mastered just a few phonetically regular words, then phonics can be introduced more naturally. For instance, if the child has mastered the word ‘can’, then introducing the ‘-an’ word family (man, van, ran, pan, etc.) is simple.
Picture Me Reading cards come in two sizes which can be used with individual children, small groups, or with a whole class.
You may teach the words in the order in which your children will be ‘meeting’ them in their readers, or as they need them for personal story telling/writing; or you may decide to work through the Dolch words by grade level.
Dr. Marlys Isaacson made Picture Me Reading cards in response to the needs of childen she was working with. For more about how this program was created