Bringing It All Together, a Program for Literacy

by Terry D. Johnson and Daphne R. Louis (Heinemann, 1990 ISBN 0-435-08502-6. Order Online.) Professional Book.


Terry D. Johnson and Daphne R. Louis' Bringing It All Together, a Program for Literacy does a nice job of doing just what the title suggests, bringing together theory and practice in whole language activities. I've used many of their suggestions with success with kids in upper elementary grades with great success. A good example of their theory into practice book is the following one of Lazy Letters. They point out that while the kids may enjoy filling in a ditto of this creative piece of work, little learning or understanding is involved. It calls for mere recall of detail, albeit in a comical manner. However, analyzing the piece after enjoying it as a class, figuring out how the author did it, creating a lazy letter from another tale together, and then going off in small groups or as individuals to make more, perhaps constructing a book of lazy letters all combine to make the activity useful and productive.

"Dear Father,

I have

  • been eaten by a frog.
  • become a truck driver.
  • married a prince.

When the huntsman took me away, I

  • went scuba diving.
  • became lost in the woods.
  • set fire to your castle.

I finally found

  • the cottage of the seven dwarfs.
  • a motel.
  • the home of the big, bad wolf.

I lived with the

  • big bad wolf
  • dwarfs
  • trucker

for a while but the wicked queen

  • tried to kill me.
  • ran off with the seven dwarfs.
  • made me marry a frog.

I bit into a

  • frog
  • poisoned apple
  • medium-sized pizza

and fell into a

  • deep sleep.
  • pond.
  • hole in the road.

The seven dwarfs thought I was

  • dead.
  • drunk.
  • faking.

Fortunately a

  • frog
  • prince
  • trucker

kissed me and I

  • woke up.
  • threw up.
  • slipped up."