Singing, balancing, jumping and skipping are all part of a cutting-edge movement program developed by ECU researchers that is helping teach children to read and write.
The Moving on with Literacy program, developed by School of Education researcher Dr Deb Calcott, is designed to help children develop the specific physical skills needed to read and write, such as holding a pen and tracking eyes across a page.
The program involves students singing and dancing along to action songs as modelled by their teacher.
A year-long study in eight Perth schools has shown the movement program to be effective in improving students’ literacy skills.
“This study shows that there are significant benefits teaching specific movement programs that teach the precursor motor skills required for early literacy,” Dr Calcott said.
“The improvement in literacy was even more pronounced when the movement program was combined with a program developed by Dr Lorraine Hammond which teaches systematic decoding instruction.
“This is about much more than just singing and dancing, the Move on with Literacy program is specifically designed to help children learn the physical skills that underpin reading and writing.”
Applecross Primary School Principal Barry France said the program made a big difference for students.
“Since the study concluded we have rolled out the program to all kindergarten and Year 1 classes.
“The feedback from teachers and parents has been extremely positive.”
(Source: Edith Cowan University)