Apples and Pears A
This is the appropriate level for absolute beginners. Children should be able to recognise most letters by sound before they start. They should also have enough co-ordination to trace a letter approximately ½ inch high with reasonable accuracy. Apples and Pears Book A contains some handwriting practice, but this may not be enough for a clumsy child. If this is a problem, see Handwriting.
In the first exercises, the teacher dicates individual letter sounds. The pupil writes or traces the correct letter on the worksheet. This enables the teacher to identify sounds which the pupil has trouble hearing. Pupils are taught to spell basic digraphs (sh, ee, ar, ch, th, ck, or) and the trigraphs ing and all. They are taught the patterns represented by me, she, he, we, be and my, try, why. Carefully planned multi-sensory sound discrimination exercises ensure that children's phonological awareness and segmenting skills improve rapidly.
More basic spelling patterns, such as ay, qu, and igh are introduced. Pupils continue phonological drills (saying the phonemes in a word), and they begin to use a morphological approach with the use of prefixes and suffixes. Mastery Tests ensure that the pupil has mastered the material and is ready to progress.
The diagnositic test for Apples and Pears Book B shows the complete range of spelling patterns taught in Book A.