Literacy & Learning

Strong literacy skills open doors to opportunity.  Because students with hearing loss may experience a particular challenge in this area, educators must undertake a research-based approach to literacy instruction that incorporates ongoing, diagnostic assessment and focused, deliberate instruction, while at the same time addressing appropriate modifications and accommodations to meet the needs of individual learners.  Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing achieve success in literacy on par with their hearing peers when provided with ample opportunities for exposure to language and print along with guided instruction in all of the basic areas of literacy instruction, such as word study (phonemic awareness, phonics, morphology, semantics), fluency, comprehension, content literacy, and written expression. This site provides resources, lesson plans, links, assessments, and other materials in each area to assist teachers in empowering students to achieve their life goals.

Accessible Materials Project:  The Accessible Materials Project (AMP) provides video resources to support language, literacy, and academic development among  signing students with hearing loss.  Numerous videos and links are available at each internet location listed.  Various video models are appropriate for ages pre-school through high school and are designed to be used by educational professionals, parents, and students.  For further information or to request DVDs for individual use contact AASD AMP at

AMP on Facebook/ AMP on YouTube/ AMP on SchoolTube

American Society for Deaf Children:  ASDC has been a resource for families of deaf and hard of hearing children since 1967.  ASDC works to support and educate families of deaf and hard of hearing children.  Their website includes news, online resources, articles and a blog related to the education and support of deaf and hard of hearing children and their families.

Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf:  CEASD provides an opportunity for professional educators to work together to improve schools and educational programs for deaf and hard of hearing people.  CEASD works to involve all stakeholders in education  to examine what is done in the education of deaf and hard of hearing students.  Examination of how to impact educational policy and decision making is also a part of what CEASD strives to do.  For a small fee, you can subscribe on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis to the clip art website; there are 10 million downloadable images.

DLTK's Crafts for Kids: DLTK's Crafts for Kids features a variety of fun, printable children’s crafts, coloring pages and more, including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of children's favorite cartoon characters.

Georgia Pathway Conference Presentation - Dr. Christina Yoshinaga-Itago:  This presentation was given at the kickoff conference for the Georgia Pathway for Language and Literacy in August 2011.  Dr. Yoshinaga-Itago presents information on D/HH students, including goals for literacy and vocabulary development from birth through childhood.

Hands & Voices - Mainstreaming the D/HH Student:  This link from Hands and Voices is a guidebook intended for professionals, teachers and parents to use to mainstream a student who is deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) into a regular classroom and reach his/her fullest potential.

Kids World Deaf Net:  KidsWorld Deaf Net provides information, a virtual library of research related to deaf education and an online forum for parents and professionals involved in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children.

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University:  Provides information and resources related to the development and education of deaf and hard of hearing children.  Includes Info to Go, Training and Technical Assistance, National Outreach Resources, Products and Publications, Shared Reading Project, and the Cochlear Implant Education Center.

Laurent Clerc National Outreach Resources:  Provides an on-line community, sponsored by the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, for outreach providers actively involved in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children birth through 21.

Lesson Plan - Kindergarten: This Kindergarten teacher incorporates multiple strategies to meet the needs of a very diverse classroom, not unlike many other classrooms for students with hearing loss. Two students have American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language in the home. Two of the students have a mild to moderate hearing loss when aided and can communicate well with spoken English. One student comes from a family where Spanish only is spoken in the home. One would think that this class would present many challenges; however, this plan demonstrates successful strategies for dealing with a diverse classroom group. A language rich ASL environment is employed for initial teaching of language, reading, and content material. The teacher also uses small group and individual instruction to support listening and spoken language and oral/signed reading fluency.

Lesson Plan - Second Grade: This lesson plan begins to explore content concepts related to nonfiction texts. The teacher incorporates engaging technology to support student learning. In addition, she employs differentiated instruction during guided reading by using a variety of leveled texts for instruction. In order to provide reinforcement for vocabulary and language concepts the teacher guides students in making connections between prior knowledge and new concepts. She also provides multiple opportunities across the curriculum for exposure to new vocabulary.

Mainstreaming Video - Oberkotter Foundation: This video offers a look into the experiences of children successfully mainstreamed into their local school districts after early identification and subsequent early intervention and preschool years in listening and spoken language classrooms.

National Association of the Deaf:  NAD is a non-profit organization that works to support and advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people and their families in education, employment, and everyday life.

National Center on Response to Intervention (RTI):  Provies information on Response to Intervention in four separate sections, including knowledge production activities, expert trainings and follow-up activities, information dissemination activities, and a rigorous center evaluation.

National Reading Panel Report:  In 1997, Congress asked the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to convene a national panel to assess the effectiveness of different approaches used to teach children to read.  For over two years, the NRP reviewed research-based knowledge on reading instruction and held open panel meetings in Washington, DC, and regional meetings across the United States. On April 13, 2000, the NRP concluded its work and submitted "The Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read," at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.  NRP materials are in the public domain and have no copyright; therefore, you may print and reproduce any of these materials.

Raising Deaf Kids:  Raising deaf kids addresses many issues faced by parents of a child with a hearing loss.  These topics are discussed through stories from real parents telling stories about making decisions for their child.

Read Together, Talk Together:  Read Together, Talk Together uses a research-based technique called ‘dialogic reading’ that has been shown to expand children’s language.

Reading A-Z: contains grade-leveled stories that are available to view online or print.  The site allows teachers to search by topic and contains comprehension question worksheets with answers, discussion cards, and targets vocabulary, phonics, fluency, and reading skill specifics.  Note: There is a classroom license fee but some free materials are available.

“Reading aloud to children who are deaf or hard of hearing”:  This independent study by Eileen Bouldin Brankatelli examines the benefits and most effective techniques of reading aloud to children who are deaf or hard of hearing, including an instructional video and booklist for parents.

Reading is Fundamental - Leading to Read: Reading is Fundamental (RIF) web site has a great kids section that is packed with educational games and activities.  The "Leading to Reading" section is designed for babies and toddlers, while "Reading Planet" is for ages 6-15.  The "Watch and Listen" stories are good in both sections.  RIF provides a monthly ideas calendar that is ideal for parents or caregivers.  Some materials are also available in Spanish.

Sparkle Box - Resources for Teaching: This website has a variety of fun teaching aids for Pre-K to elementary; over 1000 of the products are free to download.

Starfall - Quality Educational Products: Starfall is a free website that teaches children to read with phonics.  The systematic phonics approach is great for preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development.  Starfall can also be used on a Smartboard, allowing the entire class can participate.

Storytelling Videos using ASL:  Providing students with rich language models is critically important. An excellent way to support students in developing rich vocabularies is by engaging them in storytelling. Rich stories related in either spoken English or American Sign Language provide students with strong models for developing background knowledge that leads to later success in reading and academics.

Video - Surprise on the Farm (English) / Script – Surprise on the Farm (English)

Video - Surprise on the Farm (Spanish) / Script – Surprise on the Farm (Spanish)

Video - Star Wars A Long Time Ago But Far Away (English) / Script – A Long Time Ago But Not Far Away (English)

Video - Star Wars A Long Time Ago But Not Far Away (Spanish) / Script – A Long Time Ago But Not Far Away (Spanish)

Teaching Activities for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Practical Guide for Teachers:  This site serves as a practice guide for teachers to facilitate spoken language development in children with hearing loss. It is a ‘how to’ with a variety of activities and resources.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Provides links to documents, including Reading on Grade Level in Third Grade: How is it Related to High School Performance and College Enrollment? And Ensuring Success for Young Children: Early Childhood Literacy, that summarize the importance of third grade reading.

What Works Clearinghouse:  What Works Clearinghouse reviews research on programs, products, practices, and policies in education to help answer the question, “What works in education?” Their goal is ‘to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions’.

Word Walls:  Why? When? Where? & How?:  Children who are D/HH can learn vocabulary through interactions in print-rich environments, including the use of word walls. Word walls present printed words within different categories, such as theme-related words, high frequency words, or words with shared spelling patterns, in a visual display in the classroom.  In addition to providing background knowledge about the use of classroom word walls, this PowerPoint presentation shows multiple examples of both high frequency and thematic word walls in classrooms.

Zero to Three - Early Literacy and Language Tips and Tools: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families provides free downloads that describe resources and activities for facilitating early language and literacy development from birth to five.