The Word Sparks series combines explicit emphasis on extending vocabulary with systematic synthetic phonics practice matched to the Letters and Sounds Phases. Children will learn new vocabulary at the same time as developing their decoding skills, fluency and comprehension. At each book band and ORT Level there are eight expertly written, colourful Word Sparks books. These are fully decodable at ORT Levels 1-6 / Lilac to Orange and then finely levelled according to ORT Levels 7-12 / Turquoise to Lime+. Word Sparks can be used alongside other Oxford levelled or book banded scheme series.
Four partner books feature parallel texts – one page to be read by the child and one by the adult, thus extending vocabulary and opening up discussion. The other four regular texts have focus word boxes prompting adults to discuss the story and introduce new vocabulary to the child. In ORT Levels 1-6 the focus word boxes are expected to be read by the adult as this element is not decodable but is an opportunity to discuss and explore new words. The focus words have been carefully chosen because they are the words that children encounter when reading and need to express themselves in their speech and writing. These are words that are crucial for communication.
Each book has extensive notes provided on the inside cover and a handy list of GPC’s (grapheme-phoneme correspondence) and common words are printed on the back cover for ease of matching phonic learning and appropriate books to each reader. As well as being Partner and Regular texts the eight books at every level are from a range of genres: familiar settings, folk tales, funny stories, character adventure and Non-Fiction.
The ORT Level 4 / Blue Word Sparks books focus on Phase 4 consonant digraphs:
Cooking for Mum (cvcc / Familiar Settings / Partner Text)
Carrot in a Spin (cvcc / Funny Stories / Partner Text)
Back in the Trees (ccvccc / Non-Fiction / Partner Text)
The Deer and the Snail (ccvcc / Folk Tales / Partner Text)
Wind Rocket (cvcc / Adventure Mouse mini-series / Regular Text)
The Swimming Contest (cvcc / Adventure Mouse mini-series / Regular Text)
Food Hunt (ccvcc / Non-Fiction / Regular Text)
In the Big Tent (ccvcc / Non-Fiction / Regular Text)
Focus word boxes for adults to read:
among announce apart attach audience awful bare complete confuse decision delight desperate effort final forever friendly hardly imagine introduce powerful protect provide simple unusual