In the early books, the use of speech balloons, in combination with the guiding narration and the highlighting of the words as they are read, allow beginning readers to use their knowledge of language to “read”. The very familiar situations and natural language used in the stories make it easy for children to predict what will be said, even though they are not actually decoding at this stage. As their phonetic skills are built up through the many levels of the game, and as they constantly add to the words that they know by sight, through reading and rereading the stories, true reading begins to emerge.
As children move along the book path, the familiarity of the characters and situations, along with the supportive narration, continued highlighting, and the careful leveling of the material, makes for a seamless progression toward independent reading. The activities that accompany each book add to vocabulary and comprehension development, and ensure that children focus on what reading is all about- getting meaning from print.
Reading isn’t “rocket science”, but neither is it a natural process that always develops optimally with limited guidance. Ooka Island provides the essential guidance through all the foundational reading skills and reading experience, to make literacy development seem like child’s play.