Literacy Zones

Make constant use of Reading, Memorizing, and Vocabulary resources, as much as possible, probably after Phase 1.

Phase 1: Tools of Literacy

Zone 1: Penmanship, Typing & Phonics

Exercise Skills

Simultaneously learn:

  1. Handwriting
  2. Typing with the 88-Word Hannon
  3. Dot 1: Starting Phonics

Reading Prep

Classes

  • Pre-Class (Preschool & Kindergarten as a soft preview)
  • Class 1 (Basic Print handwriting & word typing)
  • Class 2 (Cursive handwriting & paragraph typing)

Phase 2: Grammar & Usage

Read from the Dot series daily while covering each grammar topic. The purpose of this Dot series is not to practice reading every form of English usage, but help students be able to read well and speak properly with the least and briefest amount of practice. Each Dot story should be read multiple times.

Zone 2: Basic Expression Dot 2

Fonts & Writing Style

  • Roman vs Sans Serif
  • Double-Story “a” & “g”
  • Monospace & Geometric
  • What is a Serif?
  • Script & Other Fonts (Decorative)
  • Cursive & Print Styles:
    • Copperplate
    • Blackletter
    • Palmer & Block Letter vs D’Nealian
    • PinkWrite

Grammar

  • Determiner: Articles (Indefinite)
  • Sentences: Statements & Questions

Sentences

*Reading spoken conversation is not an exercise to understand grammar, but merely to understand the concept that what we say can be written and read. Pedagogically, this is a vital early step in reading skill and vocabulary building.

Classes

  • Class 1
  • Class 2 (review)
  • Class 3 (review)

Zone 3: Parts of Speech Dot 3

Grammar

  • Determiner: Articles (Indefinite & Definite), Numerals, some, any
  • Capitalization
  • Period, Question Mark & Exclamation Mark
  • Sentence Types:
    • Declarative (Statement)
    • Interrogative (Question)
    • Imperative (Direction)
    • Exclamation (Wow)
  • Indirect & Tag Questions
  • *While reading Dot 3, play the game: “Look for the question mark”.
  • Colors
  • Noun-Verb-Adjective
  • Subject-Predicate
    • Predicate: Verb
    • Predicate: Noun
    • Predicate: Adjective
  • Simple sentences with numbers and colors
  • Nominative Case: Subject, Predicate Nominative, Predicate Adjective

Application

  • Days
  • Months
  • Basic colors & identifying
  • Numbers & counting
  • Names & titles

Classes

  • Class 1
  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 5

Zone 4: Nouns Dot 4

Grammar

  • Determiner: Possessive Pronouns
  • Commas
    • Direct Address
    • Introductory words
    • Serial
    • Adverse Conjunction (but)
    • Compound Sentence
    • Dates
    • Addresses
  • Conjunctions: and, or, but, yet, however
  • Lists: either, neither, nor, but not, all except, me too, not __ either
  • Conjunctions as Modifiers (but a little, it is but/yet/still morning, not yet ready, not there yet, etc.)
  • until
    • until preposition: “We walk to/until sunset.”
      • Only used with time/event/condition -related nouns, not space
        • NOT:The road continues until New York.”
        • YES: We drive until we reach New York.”
        • YES: Our journey continues until we reach New York.”
        • NOT: “The elevator can take passengers until eleven people.”
        • YES: “The elevator can take passengers until it has eleven people.”
        • YES: “The elevator can take passengers until it is full.”
    • until modifier: up to & before a time or condition or condition is met
      • Prohibitive adv.: “I won’t work until ready.” (ready is an adjective)
      • Positive adv.: “I will work until finished.” (finished is an adjective)
    • until conjunction: “I am eating until I am sleeping.”
  • Abbreviations
  • Semicolon
  • Subject – Predicate – Sentence
    • Simple
    • Compound
  • Personal Pronouns (Subject only) (Pronouns)
  • Subject – Object
  • Personal Pronouns (Subject – Object) (Pronouns)
  • Prepositions
  • Pronouns of Time
    • Simple (tomorrow, yesterday, today, tonight)
    • Complex (the week after next, this coming Wednesday, etc.)
    • Used as modifiers (AKA ‘adverbs of time’)
    • As possessives (yesterday’s lunch, etc.)
  • Pronouns of Place (here, there, around, nearby, etc.)
  • Indefinite Pronouns (someone, somebody, something, somewhere, anyone, anybody, anything, anywhere)
  • Singular & Plural
  • Suffixes (nouns)
  • the with plural nouns
  • the as a substantiver
  • the as par excellance, superlative, monadic & celebrity
  • the “we already know which”
  • Abstract Nouns (created using root words)
  • Nouns (101 Nouns)
  • Possessive (Noun Spellings)
  • Countable vs Uncountable
  • Classifiers (a cup of ___, a loaf of ___, etc.)
  • Word-Building
    • Nations & Cultures
    • Abstract Nouns (vs Concrete)
      • Can’t feel with five senses
      • Constructing from Adjectives, etc.
  • Nominative Case: Subject (review)
  • Oblique Case: Object Pronouns
  • Genitive Case: Possessive
  • Vocative Case: Direct Address

Application

  • Relative days/dates/time (yesterday, next year, in two months, etc.)
  • Time of day
  • Intermediate colors
  • Hundred, thousand, million
  • Plus, minus, times, divide
  • Times tables through 13
  • Basic “tens” addition rules (5+8 will have 3, etc.)

Critical Thinking

  • Basis (a reason to believe something)
  • Types of Evidence (Kinds of Proof)
    • Witness & Testimony (Story)
    • Physical (Things)
    • Experience (Tried Something)
  • Fact vs Opinion (Objective vs Subjective)

Stories

  • Characters
    • Main
    • Side
  • Plot (Plato)
    • Opening
    • Climax
    • Conclusion

Classes

  • Class 1
  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7 (review)
  • Class 8 (review)

Zone 5: Verbs & Dialog Dot 5

Grammar

  • Determiner: Possessive Pronouns (review & whose), Quantifiers, Ordinals
  • Interrogative Pronouns (WH words) (Pronouns)
  • Yes/No Questions
  • WH Questions (WH Q&A)
  • Contractions
  • Simple Positive/Negative Statements
  • Prefixes (negation)
  • Suffixes (verbs)
  • Verb Use:
    • Modals (Helping Verbs)
    • Linking vs Action
    • Main Verb
    • Compound Verbs
    • Verbs in clauses (Independent & Dependent)
  • would, should, could, might, and other differences
    • Permission vs Capability
    • Possibility vs Probability
    • Suggestions & Advice
    • Conditionals & Willingness
    • Prohibition & Obligation
  • Hypotheticals viz Subjunctive (if, were, had)
    • (AKA ‘unreal conditionals’)
  • Gerunds & Infinitives
    • Identify & Differentiate
    • the Substantiver with Gerunds
  • Verb Tenses
  • Verbs: Regular & Irregular
  • Verbs: Transitive & Intransitive
  • Phrasal Verbs
    • (v.) + preposition
    • (v.) [O.] + preposition
    • (v.) [adv.] + preposition
    • (v.) [adv.]
  • Verb Form Practice (303 Verbs)
  • Verb Morphologies (Verb Spellings)
  • Verb Voice
  • Verb Mood
  • Verb Forms: (Verb Tense & Mood)
  • Accusative Case: Direct Object

Application

  • Scheduling conversation
  • Frequency (often, frequently, rarely, never, always, usually, etc.)
  • Discussing colors (matching & clashing, cool/warm, pastels, saturated)
  • Discussing basic Math (arithmetic) & story problem English

Critical Thinking

  • Interview
  • Learning through Q&A
  • Discussing Difference
    • Disagreement
    • Options
    • Explanations
    • Rebuttals & Retorts
    • Defenses

Stories

  • Characters
    • Dynamic
    • Static
  • Plot
    • Goal
    • Challenges

Classes

  • Class 1
  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7
  • Class 8 (review)

Zone 6: Modifiers & Detail Dot 6

Grammar

  • Determiner: Demonstratives
  • Quotation Marks & Commas in Dialog
  • Requests & Responses of Preference to WH Questions (any [n.], anything [adj.], something [adj.], want, don’t, can’t, etc.)
  • Limiting Categories in response to WH Questions: (All but __, every __ except __, only __, nothing else, nothing but __, etc)
  • Adjectives: Comparative & Superlative
  • Adverbs: Comparative & Superlative
  • Modifiers: Adjectives & Adverbs (202 Adjectives)
  • Adjective & Adverb: Spelling Rules (Adjective Spellings)
  • Adjectives: Equative Comparison
    • (just/almost/not quite) as ___ as…
    • …the same as…
    • …the same ___ as always.
  • odifier as Subject
    • “Even better is…”, “Even more importantly,…”, “Equally valuable is…”, “Almost as unusual,…” etc.
  • WH words as vocabulary (who, what,
    where, when, why, how)
  • WH words explained by adverbs (when, where, how)
  • Suffixes (modifiers: comparative, superlative, adverbial)
  • Adverbs of Frequency (usually, often, occasionally, rarely, seldom, sometimes, sporadically, never, etc.)
  • Adverbs of Manner (badly, clockwise, counterclockwise, happily, loudly, noisily, quickly, quietly, sadly, slowly, well)
  • Adverbs of Degree (completely, hardly, just, pretty, quite, rather, too, very)
  • Adverbs of Circumstance (abruptly, fortunately, unfortunateley, luckily, unluckily, obviously, shockingly, surprisingly, vaguely)
  • Order of Adjectives:
    • number, opinion, size, shape, age, color, origin, purpose

Application

  • Discussing roads, cities, and travel
  • Travel methods
  • Basic geography terms (mountains, rivers, islands, lakes, valleys, volcanoes)
  • Basic letter

Critical Thinking

  • Answering WH Questions (who, what,
    where, when, why, how)
  • Explaining Before Asked
  • Anticipate Responses
    • Objections
    • Questions

Stories

  • Characters
    • Helpers
    • Opponents
  • Plot
    • Goal
    • Tools
    • Rules (limits & powers)
    • Explaining through conversation between characters
    • Explaining through narrators
  • Narrative Methods
    • Different perspectives
    • Flashback that explains plot & characters
    • Flashback that re-interprets good and evil
    • Retelling the same basic story (reboot, ‘re-deux’)

Classes

  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7 (review)
  • Class 8 (review)

Zone 7: Clauses & Reason Dot 7

Grammar

  • WH words explained with sentences (who, what,
    where, when, why, how)
  • Commas: Restrictive & Non-Restrictive
    • WH clauses
    • Appositives
  • Conjunctions: Logic & Cause (because, so, therefore, accordingly, due to, on account of, because of, etc.)
  • Conjunctions: Clarification (inasmuch as, insomuch as, to the extent that)
  • Concession & Disclaimer (notwithstanding, albeit, of course, anyhow, though, although, but-yet-however)
  • Conjunctions as Modifiers (but [a little], however [simple], though [understandable])
  • Direct Object – Indirect Object
  • Relative Pronouns (vs Interrogative)
  • Clauses (one verb each)
  • WH Clauses (WH – Relative and Interrogative Clauses)
  • Demonstrative Clauses
  • Dependent vs Independent Clauses
  • Concessive Clauses
  • Clauses as Modifiers
  • Accusative Case: Direct Object (review)
  • Dative Case: Indirect Object

Application

  • Countries, oceans, continents, which is where

Critical Thinking

  • Explaining the Unseen (What Happened Here?)
    • Unseen Events
    • Current Situation
  • Investigative Questions
    • Asking Witnesses
    • Asking Experts
    • Searching Evidence
  • Ethics
    • Plagiarism
    • Citing Sources
    • Define “Defamation”
    • Know when to Refer (when you are not an expert)
    • Encourage “Second Opinions”

Stories

  • Characters
    • Complex
    • Simple
    • Developing
    • Changing
    • Crisis & Transformation
  • Plot
    • Events that move the plot forward
    • Crisis & Salvation
    • Comic Relief
    • Loss & Cost (to make the goal valuable)
    • Foreshadowing (including the clue)
    • Symbolism (common practices by authors)
  • Theme
    • In Title
    • In Plot
    • In Names
    • In Objects & Places
    • In Items & Tools
    • In Challenges & Goals
    • In Discussion & Conflict

Classes

  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7
  • Class 8
  • Class 9

Zone 8: Reflect on Ideas Dot 8

Grammar

  • Pronouns & Antecedents
  • Narrative Dialog: (time) ago, (n)ever [have], since (time), for (time), once, in (time), over a span/period of (time), etc.
  • It Constructions
    • it BE [adj.] that…
    • it BE [adj.] (infinitive)
    • it looks/seems/appears that…
    • it looks/seems/appears [adj.] that…
    • “It has been said…”, “It seems apparent that…”, “It looks as if…”, etc.
  • Reflexive Pronouns (Pronouns)
  • Passive vs Active Subjects with Objects
  • Genitive Case: Substance, Origin
  • Dative Case: Involvement, Means
  • Instrumental Case
  • Locative Case

Application

  • Types of life (plant, bacteria, fungus, mammal, reptile, insect, arachnid)
  • Computer coding talk

Critical Thinking

  • Represent Others (any opinion)
  • Defend Others (same opinion)
  • Assumption, Implication, Insinuation
  • Deception Tactics
      • Populism & Demagoguery
      • The “Already” suggestion dodge (we’re already doing that)
      • The “Because” complaint dodge (our policy says, we had to)
      • The “Parliamentary” justice dodge (bureaucratic runaround)
      • The “Redefinition” crackdown dodge (redefining terms to win)

Stories

  • Types of Stories (Genre)
    • Whodunnit
    • Thriller
    • Law & Order
    • Fantasy
    • Science Fiction
    • Romance
    • Historical Fiction
    • Street Life
    • Marooned & Survival
    • Playscript
    • Tragedy
    • Drama (Laughed & Cried)
    • Comedy & Satire
    • Superhero
    • Children’s Tales
    • Moral Parables & Lore
  • Characters
    • Archetypes
      • Father
      • Retired Hero Turned-Teacher
      • Grandmother
      • Tough, Old Lady
      • Master Teacher
      • Wonder Kid
      • Wise Sage
      • Heroin
      • Corrupted Youth Turning-Hero
      • Mad Scientist
      • Mad Villain
      • Greedy Villain
      • Villain with a Family
      • Villain with a Distorted Moral Mission
      • Friend Turned-Villain
      • Evil Mouse
      • Helpful Mouse
      • Jekyll & Hyde
      • Angry Ninja Student Turned-Villain
      • Crazy Guy Whose Right
      • Insightful Loony
      • Tough Guy
      • Powerful Wimp
      • Prince Charming
      • Loser-Bum
      • Rejected Nerd
      • Inept Air Head
      • Frankenstein (science-made, harms while wanting to help)
      • Pinocchio (finding self, family)
      • Peter Pan (never grows up)
      • Able Orphan
      • Mob Boss
      • Mob Lieutenant
      • Butler
      • Loyal Secretary
      • Billionaire Friend
      • Bully with a Back Story
      • Messiah & Savior (usually destroys a story)
    • Realistic vs Too-Ideal
    • Memorable Features
      • Faces
      • Colors
      • Shapes
      • Exaggeration
      • Idiosyncrasies (endearing, approachable, & repulsive)
      • Irony (small guy with big voice, etc)
      • Smelly, repulsive
    • Useful/Endearing Flaws (so readers can identify with characters)
    • Harmful/Fatal Flaws (that lead to downfall)
    • Strengths that relate to the plot or theme
    • Unexpected Strengths/Flaws (‘stranger than fiction’ abilities that are true, but we rarely consider)
  • Plot
    • Checkoff’s Gun
    • Urgency Devices
      • Ticking Clock
      • Option Exhaustion
    • Complex Climaxes
    • Twist & the End

Classes

  • Class 4
  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7
  • Class 8
  • Class 9

Zone 9: Critical Thinking Dot 9

Grammar

  • Commas: Summary
    • Strikable Phrases
    • Serial
    • Compound Sentences
  • Modifiers: Other than Adjectives & Adverbs
  • Figurative Language
    • Metaphor vs Simile
    • Hyperbole
      • Over statement & Understatement
      • Sarcasm & Irony
    • Common Figures of Speech
    • Inventive Figures of Speech
  • Describing & Discussing Charts & Graphs
    • Literal Language
    • Figurative Language
  • Ablative Case
  • Lative Case

Application

  • Planets

Critical Thinking

  • Represent Others (opposite opinion)
  • Debating Self (prove yourself wrong)
  • Paths to Misunderstanding
    • Projection
    • Self-Talk
    • Disrespect of New Ideas
    • Creative & Selective Listening
  • Non Sequitur
    • Resulting from Misunderstanding
    • Intended as Tactics
    • Recognizing & Responding
  • Conflict “Never-Dos”
    • “Jackal Barking” (Source: IPS.SE)
    • You always/never (vs often or scientific explanation)
    • “No-Yes Circles” (vs No-Why/What)
  • “Summary”
    • Conversation
    • Writing
  • Key to: Improv, Impromptu & New Relationships (Yes, and…)
  • Mediation (3rd-party conflict resolve)
  • Deduction vs Induction
  • Types of Logical Arguments
  • Common Fallacies

Stories

  • Writing a Review

Classes

  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7
  • Class 8
  • Class 9

Phase 3: Strong Command

Zone 10: Awareness

Fonts

  • Gutenberg’s Press & Blackletter
  • Jensen & Caslon
  • Serif vs Sans Serif: Caslon IV’s Grotesque
  • ArtDeco Era: Futura, Bank Gothic, Bauhaus & Egyptian
  • Recognize Fonts:
    • Helvetica vs Arial
    • Roman: Modern, Transitional & “Book” Old Style
    • Papyrus & Comic Sans
    • Monospace: Sans & Courier
  • Font Weight
  • Font Spacing
  • Font Hierarchy
  • Font History (recognize select fonts made before 1997)

Grammar

Noun Case
Verb Tense & Mood

  • Prepositions & Prepositional Phrases
  • Noun Case: Nominative, Vocative
  • Noun Case: Accusative, Dative
  • Noun Case: Ablative, Lative
  • Noun Case: Locative, Instrumental
  • Noun Case: Genitive
  • Noun Case: Oblique
  • Genitive Measurables (a bottle of, a cup of, a piece of)
  • Gerunds & Infinitives with Noun Case
    • Predicate Infinitive
    • Gerund vs Verbal Noun
  • Verb Voice
  • Verb Mood
  • Uses of Perfect & Future Tenses in Stories & Theories
  • Different Views of Grammar
    • BE Passive as Predicate Adjective
      • “He was tired [by someone].” vs “He was tall.” vs “He was run-over.”
      • “He had been tired [by someone] since yesterday.” vs “He had been run-over since yesterday.”
      • In either case, the Passive often behaves like a Modifier.
      • Both Modifiers and Passives “should” be avoided in non-academic writing.
    • tomorrow, yesterday, etc. as Adverbs vs Pronouns
      • Yesterday’s lunch… Adverbs can’t be Possessive
    • The Oxford Comma debate
  • Minimize & Reword
    • Modifiers
    • Word Count
    • Clauses
      • Concessive
      • Dependent
  • Advanced Grammar:

Critical Thinking

  • Respectful Debating
    • Taking Turns
    • Listening to Understand
    • Making Concession
    • Clarifying Self
    • Asking for Clarity
    • Time Limits
  • Task & Topic
    • Identify Related Topics
      • Similar
      • Hierarchical
    • Staying on Topic
    • Knowing Whether the Question Was Answered
    • Recognizing Dodged Questions
      • Equivocation
      • Changing the Subject
      • Stall Tactics
      • Circular Reasons & Definitions

Stories

  • Writing a Story

Classes

  • Class 5
  • Class 6
  • Class 7
  • Class 8
  • Class 9
  • Class 10 (elective review)

Zone 11: Value & Vocation

Styles

Capitalization
Punctuation

  • Awareness of Passive & Active Voice
  • Awareness of Modifiers
  • Awareness of Tone (entertainment-extras vs pure-information)
  • Purpose of Style:
    • Keep the same things the same so that differences can stand out
    • Different types of Style requirements
    • Stay consistent with non-requirements (create your own style)
  • Various Letter Styles
  • Geometric Idea Maps
  • Newswriting
  • Opinion
  • Headline
  • Definition
  • Product Description
  • Story telling
  • 5-Paragraph Essay

Critical Thinking

  • Rules of Formal Debates
  • Rules of Meetings (Parliamentary Procedure)
  • Rules of Administration
    • Separation of Powers
    • Jurisprudence
    • Procedure & Protocol
      • Citing Rules (when they apply)
      • Combining Powers (to catch the bad guys)
      • Abuse of Power
    • Legislation vs Executive Order
      • Legislative Process (review, approval, voting)
      • Executive Order (quickly done & undone)

Stories

  • Teaching through a Story
    • Teach through events (not ‘preachy’)
    • Teach through dialog of characters (Plato)
    • Read & Observe
    • Write such a story

Classes

  • Class 8
  • Class 9
  • Class 10 (elective practice)

Phase 4: Exegesis

Zone 12: English Lit & Hermeneutics

  • Objective Meaning vs Likely Symbolism
    • Context in history
    • Original language & style
    • Setting of the writing
    • Background of author
  • Using grammar to clarify meaning
  • Plot Components used by authors
    • Character Development
    • Foreshadowing
    • Character Introduction
    • Plot Element Explanation
    • Plot Goals
    • Plot Challenges
    • Protagonist
    • Antagonist
    • Supporting Character
      • Helper
      • Friend
      • Informer
      • Encourager
      • Witness
    • Plot Devices
    • Chekov’s Gun
    • Ticking Clock
    • Option Exhaustion
    • Crisis-Solution

Classes

  • Class 10–12

Notes

For Teachers:

Curriculum topics spiral through eleven topically clustered “zones”, repeatedly reviewing the same grammar topics, but more intensely and in greater detail with each cycle. This is how most grammar curricula work, but the repetitive cycles are laid out clearly according to “zone”.

Each “class” is comparable to a “grade” in a K-12 school, but may be accelerated. So, the term “class” is used to avoid confusion in a K-12 situation.

Noun Case is meant to help students become familiar with how words are used, also to prepare students for studying other languages where case manifests in the form of spelling. This is “Noun Case in use”, not “spelling”, and serves as a pedagogical method, not content for core curriculum examination. If successful, proper use of English should improve overall, which is where the results would be seen in examination.

The “Read with Dot” series indicates a prerequisite reading; students should be capable of reading fluidly before beginning a “zone”. However, any book in the series could be revisited as a means to practice any specific language usage pattern as needed. This “Dot” series is not comprehensive, but intended to rehearse certain language pattern skills to empower students to read competently at a given skill and “class” level, and, in reading other so-empowered literature, the student would thus develop a well-rounded skill set at that level.

For ESL:

Remember TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, AKA ‘English only’) is for conversation and real life practice. This requires a brainstorming/spontaneous-creative mind to recognize ESL-able materials with which to teach by example with any and every object in the situation. TESOL often requires props, AKA “realia”, to fuel conversation. Furniture, near/far locations, clothing, body parts, eating, exercises, demonstrable “Simon Says”, and charades are always available options for TESOL conversation if there are no other nearby items.

Constant TESOL conversation invention is a necessary skill to develop for a TESOL “culture” environment to thrive. Examples of TESOL personalities in mass media could be described as “Mr. Bean” or the “Swedish Chef” from the Muppets in communication style. Communicate ideas firstly without using words; use repetition both for memory and for students to be able to observe multiple times to help them understand the demonstrated concept.

TEFL, by contrast, views English as the “foreign” language. L1 (native language) can be used in TEFL, not TESOL; TESOL uses only L2 (second language) by definition. Typing, Writing, and Phonics can be used as resource realia for TESOL conversation, but should not be forced inasmuch as students are distracted by TESOL. An example cloud be saying, “Write A,” then writing the letter “A”, doing this multiple times until the student understands. But, the primary purpose of Typing, Writing, and Phonics should be those topics. Insert TESOL repetition and demonstration in as much as it does not distract. Grammar, by contrast, should be demonstrated via TESOL as much as possible, but L2 will be necessary for grammar, if for no other reason than to reflect on the concepts.