S.P.I.R.E. – A Structured
Literacy Program

S.P.I.R.E.® is a comprehensive and multisensory reading intervention and instructional program that integrates phonological awareness, phonics, handwriting, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension in an instructional design that is based upon how struggling readers learn. S.P.I.R.E. has been used throughout the country with remarkable success by thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students. This includes students with characteristics of dyslexia, or Specific Learning Disabilities, or students who need direct, systematic, sequential instruction in reading.
Based on Structured Literacy elements and principles, and developed by OG Fellow Sheila Clark Edmands, S.P.I.R.E. incorporates research-based best practices for reading and language development. Each S.P.I.R.E. lesson employs 10 steps that enhance student learning and memory by engaging multisensory pathways to the brain in rapid succession.

S.P.I.R.E. Addresses the Key Structured Literacy Elements

Phonology – S.P.I.R.E. addresses phonemic awareness through numerous, varied strategies that help the learner construct the link between speech and reading. (Steps 2, 5, and 8 address phonology giving students short, frequent practice in this critical area throughout the 10-Step lesson.)

Sound-Symbol Association – S.P.I.R.E.’s Scope and Sequence is designed to teach 180 of the most frequent phonetic concepts in the English Language. Students receive daily drill and practice on the patterns they have mastered through oral and visual drills, word coding, word building, and dictation. In Introductory Lessons, students receive at least 40+ practice opportunities of the newly introduced phonetic pattern. (Steps 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10 of the 10-Step Lesson address Sound-Symbol Association.)

Syllables – The six syllable types are taught throughout all 8 levels of instruction. The “Closed Syllable” and “Vowel Consonant e,” syllable types are taught over the first two levels of S.P.I.R.E. laying the foundation for reading the two most common types of words. Syllabication Rules begin in Level 3 and continue through the end of the program, giving students strategies they need for dividing multisyllabic words. (Steps 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9 address Syllable instruction.)

Morphology – Suffix, prefix, and base word instruction begins in Level 3 of S.P.I.R.E. and continues throughout the program. Students learn the meaning of suffixes and prefixes as they are introduced. During passage reading, students then apply this knowledge to comprehend the text. (Steps 4 and 6 of the 10-step lesson address Morphology.)

Syntax – Students begin reading sentences and passages from the first day of instruction in S.P.I.R.E. Every lesson, no matter, how early it falls in the phonetic progression of concepts, includes sentences that are decodable for students to read. Students also write dictated sentences in every lesson, giving them models of correct sentence structure. (Steps 4, 6, and 10 in the 10-Step lesson are designed to cover syntax.)

Semantics – S.P.I.R.E.’s sentence and passage reading activities work on semantics and meaning. This instruction starts in Level 1 and continues throughout all levels of the program. As the students are able to decode more difficult text, the comprehension and vocabulary demands increase. Graphic organizers are included with every Reinforcing Lesson in the program, giving students the opportunity to apply higher-order thinking skills to the passages they read. These skills include cause/effect, main idea and details, sequencing, predicting outcomes, etc. (Steps 4, 6, and 10 of the 10-Step Lesson focus on Semantics.)

S.P.I.R.E.’s instruction is explicit (a teacher-script is provided for every lesson,) systematic and cumulative, (reinforcement is provided and instruction continues until mastery is reached,) multi-modal and hands-on, (all modalities are addressed throughout the lesson, and hands on strategies are utilized,) and diagnostic (progress monitoring is built into the program to ensure mastery).

Taking a Structured Literacy Approach based on the Science of Reading? See how S.P.I.R.E. can work for you.