About WRAP

What is WRAP?

In 1957 a talented teacher, Ronalda Spalding, wanted to find more creative ways to help students learn to read. She worked closely with the neurologist Dr Samuel Orton, and created the Writing Approach to Reading (WRAP). In America this is referred to as the Spalding Program. Ronalda understood that as children grow, most of the time, they naturally learn to talk, however reading does not come about as easily, as it is a more complex skill. Her approach was so effective, it not only improved reading but the following skills as well:

• Spelling

• Vocabulary

• Writing

• Comprehension

• Phonics

• Grammar

How is WRAP different from other reading programs?

Many reading programs simply immerse the child in literature, and expect them to begin reading without much guidance. The WRAP is different because it provides children with explicit instructions on how to read. Clinicians and teachers who carry out the WRAP have all received specific training on how to do so. These instructions are multi-sensory, which means it engages the child’s senses to facilitate memory. It has been proven that when a child sees, hears and writes a word at the same time, they are more likely to remember it later on.

What does the therapy look like?

The program follows the following structure:

• The student is taught 70 phonograms. A phonogram is a symbol that represents a sound. It can contain more than one letter. For example the phonogram “ng”, found in words such as sing.

• The student then uses how to use the phonograms in spelling, working through a list of high-frequency words. High-frequency words are the most common words used in the English language. The student is taught 29 spelling rules.

• Reading is applied throughout the program. A love of reading is encouraged and supported with recommended books by the clinician.

Where can I get more information?

The Spalding Method

The American website for Spalding


Spalding, R. B. (2012). The Writing Road to Reading: The Spalding Method for teaching speech, writing and reading. New York, Harper Collins.

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