Inspiration and Imagination
RocketReader provides hundreds of carefully graded readings from basic reading level to adult level proficiency. The readings are designed to cater for the interests and aspirations of various groups, including boys¹ and girls².
RocketReader stories are all comprehension tested to check reading progress and understanding. These are all carefully designed with a target audience in mind, to connect with the user’s interests. The following excerpt from a reading about skateboarding in RocketReader illustrates the careful selection and monitoring which underpins the design and authoring of each story. Firstly, the target audience for this story titled ‘Johnny and the Boys’ Extreme Skateboarding Adventure’ is boys aged from eight years of age. It has an ARI rating of 3.0, and a Wheeler Smith rating of 3.6. It has a RocketReader grade level of 4.8. What is distinctive about this story is that it makes use of jargon which is easily recognizable and widely used by this target audience, such as ‘wiped out’, ‘dude’, ‘kickturn’, and ‘fakie’. It taps into the common interests of the target audience, with subjects which include choppers, motorcycles, skateboards, competition and tricks. Learning is enhanced when it is situated in a context which a person can relate to. It is this philosophy which drives the design of readings and comprehension tests in RocketReader. RocketReader aims to make reading fun, enjoyable and relevant to a user’s experience, so they are motivated and inspired to learn and read. The excerpt follows:
Being a kid from San Francisco, I learned to skateboard when I was four years old. Most of my friends are the same way. Every afternoon after school, we go down to the Embarcadero, the hot skate spot in the city.
“Johnny, you got any new moves?” The question came from my best friend, Mark. Mark was wearing Depp and Usher. New multi-part adventure stories are included about school girls who set out together on various trips to the Big Apple, a boat cruise and other exciting adventures. baggy shorts and an oversized Orange Country Choppers T-shirt. He was also really into motorcycles.
I went up the ramp and did a kickturn. “That’s not new,” Mark said, seeming disappointed. “I haven’t practiced any new moves lately. What do you have?” I challenged.
Mark was up for the challenge. He got in a natural stance and started off up the ramp. He turned and rode backward in a fakie and then turned again. When he got to the top of the ramp, he jumped, and his skateboard balanced on the edge. He then rode the edge and jumped the nine feet down. He didn’t have a really smooth landing, but he picked himself up. “What did you think?” he asked. “That looks hard. I don’t know if I want to jump down all that way,” I replied.
“Dude, it’s only nine feet. It’s nothing,” he baited me. Unable to resist the challenge, I tried to repeat what he’d done. I couldn’t maintain my balance, though, and slipped off before I had a chance to skate off the ledge. I heard laughter behind me.
“Dude, you totally wiped out,” said my friend Mike. Apparently, the whole gang was there to witness my fall.
“Well, you try it then. It’s not as easy as it looks,” I challenged Mike. The other guys egged him on, and before long, we were all taking turns wiping out on the ledge. Surprisingly, no one had to go to the hospital!
Another example of reading is ‘The Vacation House’ which is aimed at girls for ages eight plus. The story describes a group of school girls that go to work at a bed and breakfast during their school vacation. Following is an excerpt.
“I’m kinda scared,” Amanda said.