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Material Spotlight

The Visual Dictionary Online

For visual learners, it may be helpful to check out a picture or visual dictionary. One such dictionary is available online at Unlike a typical dictionary which alphabetizes words, the visual dictionary is grouped by themes such as ‘Food & kitchen’, ‘Transport & machinery’, and ‘Animal kingdom’. Along with a typical definition, the visual dictionary offers high-quality images that correspond with each word. A search box enables users to quickly find words and their pictures. The dictionary contains “20,000 terms with contextual definitions, developed by terminology experts [and] 6,000 full-color images of a wide variety of objects from all aspects of life”.

Do we still want to keep the VITA tax information on the newsletter again this month? And the same for the writing contest since the submission date is in June? And any ideas for the training minute?

Focus on Phonics

Focus on Phonics is a resource that can be found at the Project Read office. It is a 4-book series that helps students sound out and spell new words. It complements Laubach Way to Reading by reinforcing sound-symbol relationships, however it can be used alone too. The workbooks are easy-to-use and will help students build a core foundation in phonics.

–       Workbook 1: Sounds and Names of Letters

–       Workbook 2: Short Vowel Sounds and Consonant Blends

–       Workbook 3: Long Vowel Sounds

–       Workbook 4: Other Vowel Sounds and Consonant Spellings

East Side Literacy

The website provides a variety of online resources for ESL and Adult literacy tutors. There are links to conversation topics with relevant questions in a wide range of subjects, resources for workplace skills, citizenship, basic reading and writing, math, GED, and technological literacy. Each link provides helpful tips for tutors and suggestions for what they can do in each area of interest. This would be a helpful resource for tutors who want new ideas for different activities or lessons to use with their student.


Teaching Adults: A Literacy Resource Book is available at the Project Read office. It includes “step-by-step instructions for teaching adult literacy learners” with more than 80 activities that are ready to use. The activities can be adapted to higher or lower levels, and the lessons can be used in a one-on-one or group setting. It provides information on the following:

–       Initial and ongoing assessment

–       Reading fluency techniques

–       Word recognition and vocabulary including 300 most frequently used words

–       Reading comprehension and writing process

–       Grammar activities

–       Lesson planning and evaluation

–       Reproducible ready-to-use activities