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Curriculum Details for
RAVE-O (Retrieval, Automaticity, Vocabulary, Engagement with Language, Orthography)

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Content Expert Reviewer

Erin Schilling
Erin Schilling brings her wealth of experience of teaching and studying English to her reviews of literacy curriculum. She taught English at a charter school in Boston, Massachusetts, for four years, and during that time served a Lead Teacher, overseeing the development of English Language Arts Curriculum for the school. She also monitored the allocation of school resources for English Language Learners, and researched and implemented a Sustained Silent Reading Program. She has a bachelor of science in English from Northwestern University, a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning as well as a Master of Education in Risk and Prevention, both from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently the Site Supervisor at Options Academy - The Arts in Hamilton, Ohio.


  • The RAVE-O curriculum is focused on building reading fluency and comprehension with young readers.
  • It covers phonics, orthography, morphology, syntax, semantics, word retrieval, reading comprehension strategies, and decoding.
  • The curriculum teaches a list of core words, and then students learn the word starters and rimes using the sound sliders.
  • Minute Story Anthologies contain short stories embedded with the core words for the week, and often help reinforce the activities of the week.
  • Word endings are included in each unit, with activities asking student to use the words within the context of particular sentences.
  • Various word-based activities, such as the Speed Wizard computer game, Word Wall, RAN charts, Spelling Patterns, Word Webs, BINGO, and Sound Sliders are used to deliver the content.


Academic Skills
  • Fluency and comprehension, word retrieval, and decoding
  • Students practice encountering unfamiliar words and learning both to pronounce them and figure out what they mean.
  • Students learn the multiple meanings of words, as well as spelling and grammatical rules.
Study Skills
  • Create word webs to help understand the vocabulary associated with a given core word.
  • Word attack skills, which can help students approach more advanced vocabulary.
Non-Academic Skills
  • While opportunities may arise to incorporate work on interpersonal skills or classroom “manners” into the lessons, such moments are not included in the teacher script.

Alignment to Standards

Alignment to state or national standards is not detailed within the materials. However, the program design is grounded in research on “each of the major linguistic component processes that play a central role in reading.”


  • Student learning is formally assessed through “tickets out the door,” “RAN charts,” and the Speed Wizard computer game.
  • More informal means of assessment are also suggesting.


  • The curriculum is highly structured. The manual includes a detailed breakdown of each week’s activities, with a provided script and time frame for each activity.
  • There are a few “teacher made” materials necessary each week, but for the most part, all materials, such as manipulatives, handouts, etc., are provided.
  • The content is entirely defined. The sounds, words, and activities build on each other in such a way that there is less room for teacher or program topic choice.
  • Some optional phonology review is included throughout
  • Majority of lessons and activities are teacher-directed.

Addressing Diverse Student Needs

  • Individual or paired work, included in the last half of each week, seems to be an opportune place for individuation.
  • Several activities offer multiple levels of difficulty, allowing for students to work at their own pace.
  • The incorporation of multiple interesting meanings is also adaptable, as some of the meanings are more advanced and some more basic, so all of the students should have a good chance of coming up with at least one meaning on their own.
Developmental level
  • The games, riddles and questions are appealing to this age group and  stretches student thinking.
  • Allows students to feel comfortable looking at the complexity of language without feeling frustrated.
  • Teaches children several definitions and uses for each word, helping them to build fluency.
Learning Styles Addressed
  • Artistic learning: Students are given the opportunity to create their own image cards for a word meaning if the meaning they think of is not represented.
  • The pictures in the minute stories include a multicultural group of children.
  • The “Many Interesting Meanings” also provide entry for different cultural idioms or interpretations.
  • Diversity of students’ cultural backgrounds is not specifically addressed in the content beyond this.

Strengths and Challenges

Strongest Features
  • Well-organized and clearly scripted.
  • High energy pace helps maintain student focus without being so quick that students get left behind.
  • Many opportunities for student participation.
  • Activities are structured in such a way that students should feel a great deal of success as they work through the content.
  • The focus on Many Interesting Meanings (MIMs) will likely make it exciting and challenging for students coming in at varied levels.
Challenges and Drawbacks
  • Will work best when adopted by a teacher who is will versed in reading development and can determine the appropriate ways to make the necessary adaptations.
  • The role of the teacher, as outlined in teacher’s guide, requires high energy and enthusiasm.

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