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Curriculum Details for
MCP Plaid Phonics

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Content Expert
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Content Expert Reviewer

Tanya Wright
Tanya S. Wright is a doctoral student in the Language, Literacy and Culture program at the University of Michigan School of Education. She received a Masters degree as a Reading Specialist from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelors degree from Columbia University. Tanya is a former Kindergarten teacher whose current research focuses on teacher professional development in the area of language and literacy.


  • This is a specific phonics/word study curriculum. It is not a complete language arts program.
  • It includes phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, phonics, word study and spelling skills.
  • The content is accurate, and is delivered primarily though worksheets and workbook activities.


Academic Skills
  • Phonics, including: consonants, short and long vowel sounds, vowel pairs, dipthongs, digraphs, compound words, prefixes and suffixes.
  • High frequency word instruction
  • Handwriting
  • Work with decodable texts.
Study Skills
  • How to locate words in the dictionary, dictionary guide words, and dictionary alphabetical order.

Alignment to Standards

This would likely align to most phonics standards.


  • The curriculum includes unit pretests and posttests, review lessons and unit check-ups.
  • PAPA (Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Assessment) is the suggested standardized assessment tool.


  • MCP Plaid Phonics is fairly structured, suggesting what to teach, which worksheet pages to use, and what activities to do with the students.
  • A script is not provided, although there are suggestions for teachers’ instructions and explanations.
  • The content is entirely predefined, each of the lessons includes all of the skills that the teacher is expected to teach.

Addressing Diverse Student Needs

  • The authors suggest that you can use the assessments to find the appropriate lessons for each child or for small groups.
  • They include suggestions for challenge activities and for children who need extra support.
  • Lessons are entirely teacher-directed.
Developmental level
  • Because the phonics component is directed at grades K-3, it would likely be developmentally appropriate to use it as a 15-minute per day supplement to a complete language arts curriculum.  Would likely be inappropriate at this early age to spend more time drilling on this kind of skill.
Learning Styles Addressed
  • Suggestions are provided for kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learners.
  • Curriculum is focused on whole group instruction and individual practice, with limited suggestions for group work.
  • There are pictures of children from a variety of backgrounds in the take-home books.

Strengths and Challenges

Strongest Features
  • Provides systematic phonics instruction that is helpful for many students as they learn to read.
  • Word study and spelling instruction is also helpful for older students.
Challenges and Drawbacks
  • Limited to a focus on phonics.
  • Games and activities suggested in the “Focus on All Learners” section would need to be used to ensure the curriculum is engaging for students.

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