Every Student

R&V3 - Reading - Concrete Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

Guided practice »
Distractors »
Questioning »
Motivators »
Modelling »
Independent practice »
Strategic pausing »
Prompting »
Shaping »
Blocking access »
Match to sample»


Teaching Opportunities

Morning circle
Literacy sessions
Community access
Music sessions
Library sessions
KLA sessions
Leisure time
Creative play


Teaching Resources

Visual sequence boards
Chapter books
Object cards
Word walls
Daily diary
BINGO games
Visual timetable
Books with auditory/visual patterns
Variety of texts
Favoured items
Interactive apps, software and websites
Interactive touch screen devices


Levels Of Support

Full Physical Assistance (FP) »
Partial Physical Assistance (PP) »
Modelled Response (M) »
Gesture/Sign (G/S) »
Verbal (V) »
Independent (I) »


Programming Proforma

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Assessment Strategies

Peer and self assessment»


Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

ENe-4A A student demonstrates developing skills and strategies to read, view and comprehend short, predictable texts on familiar topics in different media and technologies

ENe-8B A student demonstrates emerging skills and knowledge of texts to read and view, and shows developing awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter

ENe-10C A student thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, simple ideas and the basic features of texts when responding to and composing texts


Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-4A A student views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia

ENLS-5A A student recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-6A A student reads and responds to a range of written texts in familiar contexts

ENLS-7A A student uses strategies to obtain meaning from and interpret a range of texts

ENLS-12C A student responds to texts in ways that are imaginative and interpretive


HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS4.1 Recognises individual photographs, pictures, symbols or words for personal use

HSC LS4.2 Recognises, interprets and responds to photographs, pictures, symbols and signs in a range of communicative community contexts

HSC LS4.3 Recognises, interprets and responds to written information

HSC LS4.4 Comprehends written instructions in order to undertake activities and ensure personal safety

HSC LS4.5 Comprehends and responds to a variety of texts in a range of formats to obtain information, engage in a range of recreation and leisure activities and to undertake further education, training and employment

HSC LS5.2 Uses symbolic representations of ideas to produce visual messages

HSC LS6.2 Views images and interprets their meaning, information and content

Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content Students:

-join in rhymes and chants 4A

-identify some familiar written symbols in context, e.g. logos, computer icons and commands, labels of packages, signs 4A

-read and understand some sight words in simple, predictable texts 4A

-read one or more sentences correctly and for meaning in environmental/print texts 4A

-select simple print, visual and/or digital texts to read independently for enjoyment and pleasure 8B

-recognise that words and pictures have meaning and that words can be read aloud 8B

-distinguish print from drawings 8B

-discuss creative language features in imaginative texts that can enhance enjoyment, e.g. illustrations, repetition 10C



Life Skills (ENLS) Content Students:

-recognise symbols, signs and logos in everyday situations 4A

-view and respond to their preferred visual texts in a range of contexts 4A

-view and respond to graphs, charts and maps in everyday contexts 4A

-respond to a variety of texts 4A

-view and respond to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia for enjoyment 4A

-use photographs, pictures, symbols and visual aids for a variety of purposes 5A

-read a variety of short, written texts for enjoyment or information 6A

-select a range of texts for enjoyment and justify reasons for their choice 6A

-express a point of view/opinion about a text 6A

-identify and use reading behaviours 6A

-recognise and interpret single words or simple instructions in context 6A

-adjust reading strategies according to the type of text and its purpose 7A

-use a variety of strategies 7A

-read and view a variety of texts for pleasure 12C


HSC Life Skills (LS) Content Students:

-select material with photographs or pictures of family members or friends, for personal enjoyment 4.1

-select printed material with photographs or pictures of favourite people, objects or items 4.1

-recognise and follow daily routines, using photographs, pictures and symbols 4.1

-select items and objects by identifying symbols or words 4.1

-recognise and interpret signs, words, symbols and pictures in a community context 4.2

-interpret icons or  pictorial information to enhance community access and increase independence 4.2

-locate goods, services, items and places in the community using signs, pictures, and  symbols 4.2

-interpret and act on written information on signs and notices in a community context 4.3

-interpret written information to enhance community access and increase independence 4.3

-locate goods, services, items and places in the community from written identification 4.3

-read basic information with supervision and are assisted to comprehend the content 4.4

-use public libraries to select a variety of written material 4.5

-select written material to read for recreation and leisure 4.5

-read to gain information for personal purposes 4.5

-interpret text presented in a variety of formats 4.5

-use photographs or line drawings to produce lists or schedules 5.2

-use small photographs or line drawings in a personal collection to convey a message to known and unknown people in different contexts 5.2

-access a computer to produce visual messages 5.2

-respond to a variety of material 6.2

English Learning Continuum Content

Responds to auditory & visual patterns
Shares attention Sits with the group for reading experiences
Attends to illustrations and interactive texts
Shows interest/ interacts with words Matches real objects to photos
Responds to a variety of texts Matches basic community signs and words Selects basic community signs and words
Responds to auditory & visual patterns

Model a repeating musical pattern using a percussion instrument and encourage students to join in. When students are able to play the repeating pattern along with you, encourage them to imitate the pattern in a call and response manner. For example, say, “My turn!” and play the pattern. Then, “SN’s turn!” and wait for the student to attempt the pattern on their own.


Read printed and interactive texts and action rhymes that use auditory & visual patterns and:


  • encourage students to imitate auditory and visual patterns.
  • accept approximations as a response that can be shaped over time.
  • over-exaggerate these patterns in order to engage the student.


Text examples include:
The Wonky Donkey
  The Mulberry Bush
The Cat in the Hat
  Ten Fat Sausages
This Old Man
  Ten Little Monkeys



Teach and sing a variety of action rhymes. Examples include:


  • Incy Wincy Spider
  • Heads and Shoulders
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Where is Thumbkin?


Shares attention

Read a variety of big books in group settings. Ask questions and/or interact with individual students about the text from time to time whilst maintaining the focus of the whole group. Positively reinforce the students for sharing attention by saying things such as, “Well done, SN! You are listening and waiting!”, “I like the way you are looking and listening SN!”


Sits with the group for reading experiences

Allow students to hold ‘fiddle toys’ or motivating items to remain seated with a group. Examples include:


  • Disc Cushion by AeroMat
  • Name labels on chairs
  • Reading Mats


Initially a student may only be sitting within the proximity of a group. Accept this as participation if the student is engaged. Overtime, slowly encourage the student to participate in a more conventional manner. 


Attends to illustrations and interactive texts

Present students with illustrations and interactive texts that are of special interest to them such as iPad books based on a favourite character or movie. Encourage students to attend to these by saying “Look SN! It is ….”. Praise the student for attending by saying, “SN is looking!” or “Good looking SN!” Reward students for attending by allowing them to touch, hold or use the illustrations and interactive texts.


Shows interest/interacts with words

In shared, guided and modelled reading experiences focus on key words and associated pictures from favoured texts. Draw students’ attention to the words and pictures as they occur throughout the story. Adapted books are valuable tools for teaching this skill and can be a first step to associating words with their meaning.


Provide students with the opportunity to interact with texts and their associated word/picture cards throughout the day.


Present the student with a baseboard of labelled pictures and a set of matching cards. Model how to match each picture/word card and say/sign, “SN, look, same ………”. Use the least amount of support necessary for the student to successfully match each picture/word card. As the student successfully matches the picture/word cards, introduce distractors to increase the difficulty of the task. 


Matches real objects to photos

Place an object and its corresponding photo on a table in front of the student. Ask the student to pick up the object and place it onto the matching photo. Praise the student by saying, “Good work SN! It is the same!” Reward the student by allowing them to play with the object they have matched for a set time (use a timer if possible). When the time is up say and sign, “SN, ……. is finished.” Direct the student to place the object on the table, then remove it from sight and move onto matching a different object. Gradually increase the number of objects and photos presented and encourage the student to continue matching whilst discriminating between the differing objects/photos. Ensure objects differ significantly in size, shape, colour and texture during the initial stages of this task.


Responds to a variety of texts

Provide opportunities for students to respond to a variety of texts. During group or individualised activities, point out key elements of the book such as picture, cover or word when reading it. Read books in an animated manner to encourage student engagement and response.


Matches basic community signs and words  

Prior to a walk in the community create a board with photos of community signs and words in the order in which students will see them on the walk. During the walk point out the real community signs and words then draw the students’ attention to the corresponding community sign on the board. As students begin to recognise the signs encourage them to point out the corresponding photo, decreasing the level of support offered. Place the community signs in random order on the board as students become more proficient in identifying them.


As the students become proficient in identifying the community signs they could be placed in random order on the board. Community signboards can also be created on an interactive touch screen device that students carry with them on the walk.


Use interactive touch screen devices such as an iPhone or iPad to generate a compilation of community signs and words that students scroll through one at a time as they walk. This could be a camera roll or apps such as first then, word slaps, slideshow 3D.


Selects basic community signs and words

Present the student with a community sign/word. Explicitly teach the student to select the community sign/word using the following sequence:


1. Point to the community sign/word and name it as the student points and/or verbalises it.
2. Place a copy of the community sign/word (e.g. STOP sign) on a table and say, “Give me the STOP sign”. When the student selects the correct sign, praise the student by saying, “Well done SN! You found the STOP sign!”


Initially, use blocking to ensure student success. As the student becomes more proficient at selecting, decrease the level of support provided. The task can be made more complex by introducing a blank distractor(s) and increasing the number of community signs/words. This skill could be reinforced by adapting games such as Go Fish or BINGO.


The following websites have further resources and ideas for teaching students about community signs and words:





Key Assessment Points


  • The level of prompting required for the student to complete a task should always be recorded.
  • Observation could occur throughout the school day in a variety of activities or during a structured assessment task. This could be captured on video or in photos and recorded in skill checklists/rubrics for analysis.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as speech therapists may be able to provide additional assessment information.
  • Work samples could be collected and analysed, for example cut/paste matching tasks.
  • Informal testing could be used to assess some skills.



Suggested Apps


Dr Seuss' ABC
Nursery Rhymes for Kids
Preschool Action Rhymes for Kids
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy
The Wonky Donkey
PCS Bingo
Grocery Signs and Words HD
Community Signs and Words HD
iRoad SIgns