ELSB - Early Literacy Skills Builder

A foundational literacy curriculum targeting all 5 National Reading Panel components

Product Features:
  • Reflects five years of research from the UNCC
  • Endorsed by the Council for Exceptional Children— Council for Administrators of Special Education
  • Offers eight levels, each with five lessons to use the appropriate child-specific, least intrusive prompt strategy
  • Used in conjunction with the Building with Stories framework to make lessons more age-appropriate
  • Provides a multiyear curriculum for students who use a variety of methods to communicate
  • Adaptable for individual or small group settings and for grades K-5
  • For AAC support, consider the Early Literacy Communication Package 
Product Item No. Price Qty
ELSB - Early Literacy Skills Builder EL-S10W $695.00
  • grade_k-5
  • 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.



This version is the updated and revised 2016 edition, which is also included within Attainment's Core Curriculum Solution: Elementary.


  • Is thoroughly researched
  • Provides a multiyear curriculum
  • Develops foundational literacy skills
  • Includes student response options for verbal or nonverbal responding
  • Provides scripted lessons
  • Includes a DVD training video
  • Integrates software to simplify instruction and progress monitoring

Five years of research through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, proved ELSB to be a highly effective literacy program: Even more effective than a sight-word-only program! ELSB is based upon the principles of systematic and direct instruction. It incorporates scripted lessons, least-prompt strategies, teachable objectives, built-in lesson repetition, and ongoing assessments. The seven ELSB levels contain five structured lessons each.

All students begin at Level 1. If a student struggles here, Level A has been included. Scripted instruction may be done in small groups or one-on-one for two 30-minute daily lessons. Once a level has been completed, formal assessments are provided. ELSB includes everything you need to implement a multiyear literacy curriculum: It provides an aligment to state and national standards, including the common core! 

Research Details:

Dr. Diane Browder, principal author of ELSB, directed an analysis of 128 studies on teaching reading to students with cognitive disabilities, which indicated the effectiveness of using systematic instruction techniques to teach sight words. ELSB research was conducted through Project RAISE and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Five years of research have been completed. Sixty students from the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System with moderate-to-severe disabilities received daily instruction in the ELSB curriculum. These students were compared with a control group using a sight-word-only approach. ELSB students earned significantly higher scores on the pre/post test for the ELSB curriculum as well as the Nonverbal Literacy Assessment and receptive language measures.

Data from the first 3 years of classroom research show that the ELSB group had higher gain scores (posttest minus pretest) than the control group on all four dependent variables. Accordingly, the Institute of Education Sciences (funding agency) approved the discontinuation of the Edmark control group in 2008. Students continued to make significant progress in years 4–5.

ELSB Authors


  • Implementation Guide
  • 6 Teacher’s Manuals
  • 6 Student Response Books
  • 6 Student Assessment Manuals
  • Moe the Frog Puppet
  • All About Moe Stories
  • Oh My, Apple Pie Story
  • DVD for staff training
  • Discs with printable PDFs and other reproducible resources
  • Sight word flashcards
  • Magnetic dry erase board
  • Post-it flags
  • 2 Storage boxes

ELSB Software  or ELSB iPad App may be used in conjunction with the print version or alone as a literacy curriculum.

As a supplemental resource, see Early Literacy Communication Package — a GoTalk 4+ and the Early Literacy Communication Overlays book featuring 50 tear out pages of overlays to compliment the ELSB program.

Need more information? Have questions or comments about ELSB? Contact our expert at [email protected].


Supporting Research Articles:

Browder, D. M., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Courtade, G., Gibbs, S. L., & Flowers, C. (2008). Evaluation of the effectiveness of an early literacy program for students with significant developmental disabilities. Exceptional Children, 75, 33-52.


Browder, D. M., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Flowers, C., & Baker, J. (2012). An Evaluation of a Multicomponent Early Literacy Program for Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 33 (4).


Browder, D. M., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Spooner F., Lee, A., & Hicks, C. (2011). Early Literacy Research for Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities University of North Carolina Project RAISE. Verona, Wisconsin: Attainment Company, Inc.


Related Research Articles:

  • Using the ELSB Curriculum with Students with Disabilities Who are English Language Learners
  • ELSB and Non-Verbal Students with Autism
  • ELSB Research for Students with Autism and Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities
  • Evidence Base for the Early Literacy Skills Builder
  • Early Literacy Research for Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities University of North Carolina Project RAISE
  • Additional Info

    Additional Info

    Subject English Language Arts, Literacy
    Age Group Elementary
    Author Diane Browder; Susan Gibbs; Lynn Ahlgrim-Delzell; Ginevra Courtade; Angel Lee
    ISBN 1-57861-632-8
    Format Blended

    Samples and Support