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The Four Blocks Literacy Model

What Is It?

Developed more than a decade ago by literacy experts Dr. Patricia Cunningham and Dr. Dorothy Hall in conjunction with first grade teacher, Margaret DeFee, Four Blocks is a balanced-literacy* framework for teaching language arts in grades 1-3. The Four Blocks program -- based on the premise that all children don't learn in the same way -- integrates four language arts areas into reading instruction. Those areas are: guided reading, self-selected reading, writing, and working with words.

Although originally created for use in first grade, Four Blocks has been adapted for use in other grades as well: Building Blocks provides a foundation for language, print, and literacy in kindergarten, while Big Blocks emphasizes activities appropriate for grades 4-8.

Explore It

To learn more about the Four Blocks literacy model, explore the following Web sites:

Use It!

The activities and lessons below will help you use the Four Blocks literacy model in your classroom.

Learn More About It
To extend your understanding of the Four Blocks literacy model, visit the following Web sites:

Learn More About Balanced Literacy*
To learn more about balanced literacy, visit the following Web sites: