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Write a story with 220 words only - the Dolch Project

Sabah Baxamoosa

October 31, 2013

Think you have it in you to craft a beautiful story with 220 words?

Getting lost in a story, being transported into another world and letting one's imagination run wild are just a few of the experiences one has when reading. Not for everyone, though. Children with learning disability (LD) are largely bereft of the joys of reading for fun, because of their inability to read most letters of the alphabet. Learning disability is very common and often goes undetected till the child has grown up. In 1936 a doctor by the name of Edward Dolch compiled a list of 220 words (which has expanded to around 300 in recent years) that children can learn just by seeing them. It uses the whole word approach with children who can't learn phonetically. The Dolch list aims to help children with learning disabilities read more fluently. With 83 stories already crowd sourced, since the Dolch Project first started, there's no stopping this unique solution to an age-old problem...

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  • Liz Dwyer

    I remember when I first began training as a teacher and found out about the Dolch lists, it amazed me to realize that English was, at its heart, these 220 words. What a powerful tool for any teacher because if your students know these words, they can access the printed word. I love that this Dolch Project is being used to help LD kids in this way. Glad to share this--I can't help but think how cool it would be for older students to take on this project.