Pathways to Literacy

A research-based literacy readiness curriculum; helps prepare for higher literacy skills and transition into the ELSB Curriculum

Product Features:
  • Core concepts include story comprehension, cause and effect, picture symbol use, and reading engagement
  • Developed from UNCC research for teaching students with profound disabilities
  • Includes Big Button to assist nonverbal students with communicating
  • Story-connected objects paired with pictures and systematically faded
  • Books have five levels of instruction to align with students' needs
  • Customized to teach students with an intellectual disability or autism

Adapted books included: Earth Dance, Tar Beach, Jamaica's Find

Hands-on materials included: Story-connected objects, tactile adaptations, photo and picture vocab cards, visual adaptations for cards

Product Name Item No. Price Qty
Pathways to Literacy PAT-10W $495.00
Pathways to Literacy with Extension Activity Books PAT-40W $565.00
Pathways to Literacy Extension Activity Book Set PAT-05W $89.00
Pathways to Literacy Student Activity Book - 10 Pack PAT-E01W $69.00
  • age_neutral
  • Differentiated Instruction
    Differentiated Instruction

    This product integrates individualized student objectives to encourage active participation and access to learning.

  • Data Capture
    Data Capture

    This product includes ongoing assessments and progress monitoring tools to capture data and document student achievement.

  • Research Based
    Research Based

    This product uses highly effective instructional strategies supported by research to promote student learning and progress.

  • Standards Alignment
    Standards Alignment

    This product aligns to both state and Common Core standards.



Pathways consists of five levels that use prepared scripts to teach story-based lessons. Beginning levels rely heavily on object use throughout the story to make learning more concrete. Objects are then paired with pictures and gradually faded. Students must meet mastery criteria to move through the levels. A student who is successful at Level Five can participate in typical story-based lessons, like those in the Building with Stories Curriculum.

Pathways content aligns to state and national standards, including the common core.

Pathways to Literacy includes:

  • Three Teacher’s Guides: EarthDance Teacher's Guide, Jamaica's Find Teacher's Guide, and Tar Beach Teacher's Guide
  • An Implementation Guide
  • Three storybooks (EarthDance, Jamaica’s Find, and Tar Beach) adapted to a spiralbound format with laminated pages, raised titles, large page numbers, and repeated storylines
  • Hands-on materials including a collection of story-connected objects, materials for tactile adaptations, plus photo and picture vocabulary cards, and materials to adapt cards for readers with low vision.
  • A Big Button to encourage students to communicate during lessons.

By Angel Lee, MEd, Pamela Mims, PhD, and Diane Browder, PhD.

Pathways to Literacy is part of our Core Curriculum Solution: Elementary.


Supporting Research Articles:

Browder, D. M., Lee, A., & Mims, P. J. (2011). Using shared stories and individual response modes to promote comprehension and engagement in literacy for students with multiple severe disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 46, 339-351.


Browder, D.M., Mims, P.M., Spooner, F., Ahlgrim Delzell, L, & Lee, A. (2008), Teaching elementary students with multiple disabilities to participate in shared stories. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 33: 1-2, pp 3-12.


Mims, P.J., Browder, D., M., Baker, J. N., Lee, A. & Spooner, F. (2009). Increasing comprehension of students with significant intellectual disabilities and visual impairments during shared stories. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44, 409-420.


Stanger, C., Mims, P., Wood, L., & Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., (2016). Supporting Literacy Achievements for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism through Curricular Programs that Incorporate Assistive Technology. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 10 (1).


Related Research Articles:

  • Appendix A: Research Foundation of Pathways to Literacy
  • Pathways to Literacy References
  • ELSB Research for Students with Autism and Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities
  • Early Literacy Research for Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities: Research on Pathways to Literacy
  • Additional Info

    Additional Info

    Subject English Language Arts, Literacy
    Age Group Pre-K, Elementary, Secondary, Transition, Older Adult
    Author Angel Lee, Med; Pamela Mims, PhD; Diane Browder, PhD
    ISBN 1-57861-741-3, 1-57861-745-0, 1-57861-746-4
    Format Print
    Copyright 2011

    Samples and Support