Follow the Info Trail

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
LITERACY LAND. Series editors NMartin Coles and Chris Hall. Story Street - Genre range;Info Trail. By Jeremy Strong, Kaye Umansky and Jenny Alexander. Longman (Preview packs for each strand are available on approval). Prices from pound;38.35 to pound;108.50.

Publishers have now got it more or less right with reading schemes, and choosing one has become a matter of taste. This reading "programme" - a web of interlinking material, including worksheets, teachers' notes, big books - has been constructed for the literacy hour. It succeeds rather well, because when you dip in for a particular type of text to match a literacy hour need, you will most certainly find it. In the Info Trail strand you'll find procedural tet, explanation, argument, discussion, persuasion and more. In the Genre Range strand are comic texts, letters, diaries, fairytales and fables. And, in the Story Street strand you find - stories.

The match to requirements is good, but what about quality? The cartoons in the Story Street strand could be a hit with children, but I found the constantly grinning faces somewhat wearing. I did enjoy the sense of place generated by the picture map (shades of Milly Molly Mandy and The Village with Three Corners), although I haven't seen a high street with only two vehicles - a nice piece of escapism.

Reading schemes are complex resources. The offer of a 60-day free evaluation is worth taking up.

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