Animal super-power reading cards

These hand-drawn, hand-painted A5 animal cards are designed especially for young and developing readers to use as strategy and skill building cards, every time they read.

Each animal in the set has its own unique super-power (just like children do). The accompanying guide-book will teach you about each animal and their unique super-power. As children learn about each animal’s unique super-power, you can help them see how each super-power can be related to different reading skills and strategies. We all learn and process differently.

The more strategies young readers can draw upon when reading, the quicker they will learn and the more enjoyable the experience will be: with a range of strategies to draw upon and embed, children will develop their reading skills holistically and with an inner confidence.

Inclusive strategies that cater for all learners, especially dyslexic learners are absolutely crucial to the complex and emotional experience of learning to read. These cards make explicit the skills and strategies that some learners might not use. To have these made clear and explicit is very empowering for young minds.

Research and meta-cognition theory teaches us that the simple act of having a strategy chosen by the child is so powerful. It is powerful because internalising different strategies, builds pathways and connections in the brain, stimulates cognition and actively develops a skill. These cards are specifically developed to inspire children visually and conceptually, while helping them to develop their own implicit strategies: strategies that will soon become a part of their unconscious reading repertoire.

This makes confident and happy readers.

Once the strategy becomes a skill, learning is accelerated and self-concept blossoms. They are also very cute and can fit snugly inside your child’s books – ready to draw upon when needed and taken anywhere.

There are 15 animals altogether. Let me introduce two of the animals to demonstrate the concept and give you a taster…

Bald eagle: amazing eye-sight...

Meet bald eagle – with eye-sight 8 times sharper than a human’s – he or she sees everything, no matter how small or well hidden.
Be like the eagle when you read, look for clues everywhere before you read and while you read. Look for clues within the pictures, the character’s faces, the emotions, the tiny, tiny details.
Look for clues in the last bit you have read to help you with the next. Look for clues in the story-line, the beginning. Look for clues in the sentence.
Look for clues and use these clues to visualise a complete and detailed picture in your mind as you read. You might just find everything else starts to fall into place…

Bat-eared fox: amazing hearing...

Meet bat-eared fox – with his or her lovely big ears – she or he can hear everything! The bat-eared fox use their big ears to regulate their body temperature and to listen out for termites…yum yum! What a super-power!
What can you hear in the sentence? Can you use your super hearing to listen back to what you have just read? Does it make sense?
What can you hear in each word? Can you hear the different sounds within a tricky word? Can you, like the bat-eared fox, hear sounds that are hiding, like termites underground? Listen carefully!

The reading cards

The reading cards come in three sets: each set is developmentally ‘staged’ to build upon the last set. Each set contains 5 animals. For example set 1 teaches strategies for beginning readers like listening and decoding, set 2 moves onto ‘rules’, like silent letters and letter working together, and set 3 develops inference and fluidity,  among many other skills. The cards are perfect for children aged 4-12 and can be used in school – in reading lessons and literacy intervention sessions – and/or at home.

The development of these cards grew from my work with struggling and developing readers. I learn as much from the children I work with as they learn from me. With this in mind, I am looking for 5 families and 5 schools to trial these cards before they go to the publishers to be produced en masse. You can trial as many sets as you want, depending on age and developmental stage. You will obviously get to keep the guide-book and the cards for free. All I ask is for your feedback.

Thank you and please get in touch if you are interested in trialling these cards.