Americana provides opportunities for students to study words in the context of factual passages about events and people in American history. Students mark various letter patterns, copy passages, and practice writing the passages from dictation. This level is for a proficient reader with gradually improving spelling skills.

Americana continues the Skill Development Stage. Students will read nonfiction stories about American history and culture. The reading level gradually increases, providing opportunities for vocabulary development and allowing students to learn how to spell words in an interesting context.

This level:

  • Features nonfiction stories about American history and culture
  • Involves the three core activities for Spelling You See:
    • Chunking – provides hands-on experience with the many irregular letter patterns in English
    • Copywork – requires the brain to pay attention to details in print
    • Dictation – gives the student the opportunity to recall the proper letter patterns from memory.
  • Gradually increases in reading level, providing opportunities for vocabulary development and allowing students to learn how to spell words in an interesting context

Is my child ready for Americana?

Read the passage below to your student, asking them to follow along.

Seahorses are fish, but they are not like other fish. Seahorses swim upright. They have a curved neck. They do not have scales. Their fins are very small, so they swim poorly. A seahorse uses its tail to hold onto sea grasses. A group of seahorses is called a herd — just like a herd of horses!

Ask your student to read the passage aloud by themselves.

Dictate the following list of words, one at a time, to your student, asking them to write the words on a piece of paper.

fish, like, other, swim, neck, small, tail, group, herd, horses

If you answer “Yes” to these three questions, your student is ready to begin Americana.

  • Can my student write two or three sentences at a time?
  • Was my student able to read the paragraph aloud without sounding words out or pausing? Note that the paragraph is written at the minimum reading level for Americana.
  •  Was my student able to spell correctly eight of the ten listed words?

If you answer “No” to any of the questions above, try the readiness guidelines for the previous level, Wild Tales.

Note: Americana may be appropriate for an older student who reads well at this level but whose spelling skills are not equivalent. Contact us to discuss the best fit for your student.

Lessons contained in Americana

Lesson 1: Vowel Chunks

A Typical Week:

Days 1-3:

Parts A-C

  • Read the Passage Together
  • Mark Letter Patterns(Chunking)
  • Student Copies Passage for 10 Minutes and Chunks Their Work

Day 4-5:

Part D-E

  • Read the Passage Together
  • Mark Letter Patterns (Chunk)
  • 10 Minutes of Dictation

Americana Set

Includes everything you need for vocabulary development in the skill development stage of spelling, with 36 lessons of Americana:
  • Instructor’s Handbook
    • Introduction to the philosophy of Spelling You See
    • Getting Started guide
  • Student Pack
    • 2 Student Workbooks
    • Erasable colored pencils

Americana Individual Items

The Student Pack includes two student workbooks and a pack of erasable colored pencils. Each of the 36 lessons is divided into five parts, A through E, and includes two facing pages. Each day the instructor reads the passage together with the student. Students will also “chunk” the appropriate letter patterns indicated for that day’s lesson and have opportunities for copywork and writing from dictation throughout the week.
The Instructor’s Handbook contains an introduction to the philosophy behind Spelling You See and the five development stages of spelling. The Handbook also contains a “Getting Started” guide with an overview of the organization of the 36 lessons and information about the important skills and concepts that will be learned in this level as well as information about the three core activities. At the back of the Handbook there is more information about guided reading, chunking, copywork, dictation, answers to frequently asked questions, and a collection of helpful resources including passages for dictation.