Home > Seeing Stars® > What Is Seeing Stars?

What Is Seeing Stars?

Bringing imagery to consciousness . . . will profoundly improve literacy skills.

—Nanci Bell, Seeing Stars: Symbol Imagery for Phonological and Orthographic Processing in Reading and Spelling

Seeing Stars®: Symbol Imagery for Phonological and Orthographic Processing in Reading and Spelling by Nanci Bell

What is the Seeing Stars® program?

The Seeing Stars® program develops symbol imagery—the ability to visualize sounds and letters in words—as a basis for orthographic awareness, phonemic awareness, word attack, word recognition, spelling, and contextual reading fluency.

Seeing Stars develops reading and spelling for your core or homeschool curriculum—and is highly effective as an intervention to develop reading skills for all ages of students. Recent research validates that Seeing Stars instruction improves reading ability and is accompanied by changes in brain structure.

Symptoms of Weak Symbol Imagery

Weakness in:

  • Memorizing sight words
  • Rapid word attack
  • Orthographic awareness
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Contextual reading fluency
  • Orthographic spelling

The sensory input of imagery underlies the component parts of reading—decoding and comprehension. Symbol imagery has a critical and direct relationship to phonemic awareness, word attack, word recognition, spelling, and contextual fluency .

—Nanci Bell, Seeing Stars

Why teach the Seeing Stars® program?

Seeing Stars® instruction develops a primary underlying skill required for decoding, spelling, and reading fluency. Teach beyond phonics and guided reading. Teach to a sensory-cognitive foundation of reading—symbol imagery—that develops all the component parts of reading: word attack, word recognition, and contextual fluency.

Independent study validates Seeing Stars® instruction.

After eight weeks of Seeing Stars intervention, dyslexic children showed improvement in:

  • Phonemic Awareness (p<.001)
  • Symbol Imagery (p<.001)
  • Word Recognition (p<.001)
  • Rapid Naming (p<.01)
  • Word Attack (p<.05)
  • Passage Comprehension (p<.05)

Improvement in reading ability was accompanied by changes in brain structure.

The study's authors concluded:
"These results demonstrate for the first time that (1) training-induced changes in GMV can be observed in a pediatric sample and (2) reading improvements induced by intervention are accompanied by GMV changes."

This article, published in the journal NeuroImage (2011), can be viewed in its entirety courtesy of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes:

Gray matter volume changes following reading intervention in dyslexic children