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What is SEEL?

Systematic & Engaging Early Literacy (SEEL)

SEEL is a free literacy program written and contributed to by BYU's very own faculty members. "SEEL's free early literacy program is research based, designed to allow young children to effectively develop and retain literacy skills by way of playful activities". The SEEL project began in 1998 by Drs. Barbara Culatta and Dana Kovarsky, and was originally intended for students who had non-majority cultural and linguistic backgrounds or language delays in the regular classroom. Part of the reason the SEEL project is so successful is because of its hands-on lessons in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.


SEEL is founded upon evidence based practices, practices extensively researched and proven to be successful, as well as explicit and systematic instruction to meet student's needs and literacy targets. SEEL practices build upon student's prior knowledge, and it provides engaging, hands-on, memorable literacy experiences for students. "As SEEL is a comprehensive program that addresses key literacy components (phonological awareness, decoding, alphabet knowledge, story comprehension, vocabulary, oral language, print concepts, and meaning), as well as the motivation to read, write, and communicate, program administrators consider empirical evidence to be an important aspect of its development." Empirical evidence informs researchers of widespread literacy performance and trends of student's literacy instruction, thus the SEEL model continues to adapt to meet the diverse needs of the current and future elementary classroom!

SEEL in the Classroom

SEEL is meant to be used in the classroom as an RTI (response to intervention) approach. Essentially, this means that SEEL practices can be taught in a whole class, small group, or individual setting with students. Because of this design, SEEL can be adapted to all the needs of students which is what most teachers are looking for in curriculum today. SEEL is not only taught in the classroom, but can also be used in the home as well, so SEEL has capabilities to be used everywhere, for all students in a fun and engaging way! View the SEEL lesson plan library by clicking here.

What Does SEEL Look Like?

Watch this 2 minute video outlining a phonics lesson on -ub. Notice what practices he uses and the format of the lesson plan, and hopefully it helps you see what it's like to lead a lesson in a classroom!

To watch more videos of SEEL lesson plans being implemented in the classroom, click here.

We hope you take a minute to look at the SEEL website as it can help you in your preparation to become an educator.

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