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Language Arts

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Listening, writing, speaking --  TUNE IN  has products designed to make life easier for you and better for your students in all these important language arts skills areas.  Help students develop that extra edge for standardized testing and for UIL academic contests with TUNE IN's wide range of products.  Choose instructional and practice materials in listeningstorytelling, oral communication, dictionary skills, spelling and creative writing.

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For students from kindergarten through junior high school, TUNE IN offers audio CDs designed to develop and maintain good listening skills.  Instructional materials use grade-level-appropriate exercises to teach specific aspects of good listening, with instructional and practice exercises becoming progressively more difficult as grade levels rise.  Our extensive library of practice CDs, including many scripts and tests used in the UIL Listening Contest, allows you to incorporate listening practice into any area of your curriculum.  Use our scripts and tests to supplement your lesson plans for a subject, while you help students maintain and refine their listening skills.

All TUNE IN audio packages include one or more CDs and masters for all the print materials you'll need-- student worksheets, answer keys, and optional additional activities.   Preparation is a breeze-- just hand out student worksheets and start the audio!  

Learning to Listen

This series is a perfect way to help students develop and maintain good listening skills.  The CDs provide specific instruction in various aspects of good listening, then practice exercises to help students refine the skills they're learning.  From kindergarten through junior high, students can continue to sharpen their listening abilities as they progress through this TUNE IN series.

Communication skills such as identifying the main idea, following instructions, distinguishing fact from opinion, recognizing the order of events and importance, and other topics covered in our Learning to Listen series are as important in reading, writing, and speaking as they are in listening.  Studies have shown that students who receive listening instruction not only become better listeners, but also improve their performance in other language arts.



Listening for Beginners


This package features some "immediate response" and some "listen then answer" exercises.  It provides recorded lessons on following instructions, listening for details and important information, remembering the order of events, and recognizing the main idea.  Since students respond on picture worksheets, this package requires no reading skills.  (K-2)



Beginning to Listen


Excellent practice for skills covered in 13700 , this package also uses pictures instead of text work-sheets, and requires no reading skills.  Recorded activities include following instructions and listening for details and for order of events.  (K-2)



Tuning Up Early Listening Skills


Lessons and exercises in following oral instructions and listening for details, order of events, and main ideas.  Students listen, then answer recorded or printed questions with multiple choice answer sheets using simple vocabulary.  (1-3)



Tuning In To Listening


Good practice for the skills covered in 13702, with student answer sheets in a similar format using simple vocabulary.  This CD includes hints for listening, several short "stories," and some science features, each about 3 minutes long.  (1-3)



Primary Listening Pack (CDs 13700, 13701, 13702, 13703)


This set contains all four of the early Learning to Listen packages described above-- and a 3-ring vinyl binder.  You save over $13.00!



Learning About Listening, Volume I


This package introduces more skills for a good listener.  Using immediate response as well as "listen then answer" exercises, the CD and worksheets provide instruction and practice in preparing to listen, recognizing a speaker's purpose, distinguishing fact from opinion, and selecting needed information from an oral presentation.  It also introduces basic note-taking skills.  (3-4)



Learning About Listening, Volume II


The same format, but more complex instructions and examples of skills covered in Volume I (14701).  Also adds lessons on following the logical organization of an oral presentation, identifying a speaker's point of view, and more note-taking exercises.  (5-6)



Learning About Listening, Volume III


More advanced instructions and practice in many of the skills developed in Volumes I and II.  Using both immediate response and "listen then answer" exercises, this package includes lessons on picking out signals from a speaker and on more advanced note-taking.  (7-8)


Use these next audio CD and worksheet packages to give students practical and entertaining exercises that help reinforce their listening and thinking skills.  Exercises require students to follow instructions, read maps, graphs and tables, even solve a mystery and locate a treasure!



Are You Listening?


This challenging  package contains six exercises, each about nine minutes long.  Activities include a city map, a word graph, a mystery, a word scramble, a picture graph, and a treasure hunt map and logic exercise.  The package provides excellent practice in following instructions and directions and in listening for details and information.  (5-7)



Activities for Building Listening Skills


One of the favorites in our Learning to Listen series, this package includes a wide variety of exercises.  There is a map, a word scramble a picture graph, a logic puzzle, and listening study sections on contradictions and "silly sentences."  Your students will have fun while they challenge their listening skills!  (5-7) 


Listen and Learn

This program is designed for students who have had some training and practice in listening skills.  An extremely popular series among teachers, it is equally useful for individuals or for groups to help develop good listening habits.  The variety of topics included offers opportunities to add listening practice to any curriculum area, using material that supplements your lesson plans for the subject.  Audio CD exercises in this series are in the "listen then answer" format, with recorded scripts and printed multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions.

UIL Sponsors, please note:  All of the Listen and Learn packages are in the same format as the UIL Listening Contest. Many of the scripts and exercises were used in prior years' contests.  Great contest preparation for your students! 


Now Hear This


Contains:  Comets - some fictions and facts about these "hairy" space travelers; King of the Magic Kingdom - a look at the man who created Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; Whoopers - the decline and rise of the whooping crane; Wilma Rudolph - from crippled child to Olympic champion; English Hedgerows - a case of nature using the products of people; and, Singing Sands- how some dunes move with the sound of music.  (5-6)



Listen And Learn Highlights


Scripts include:  Susan B. Anthony - a chronicle of her suffrage efforts; Race to the Moon - the space race from the start to 1969; Carlsbad Caverns - history of man's relationship with this miracle of nature; Sir Francis Drake - a biographical sketch of the explorer/sailor/soldier; Lighting Up the Night - growth and consequences of light pollution; and, The Pony Express - the story of this legend of the American West.  (5-6)



Listen And Learn, Volume III


Topics include:  Where Land Meets Water - an interesting look at the properties of ocean waves and beaches; Henry David Thoreau - a biographical sketch of one of America's great philosophers; Mapping Diseases - the history and development of epidemiology; Caves - fascinating details about how caves are formed and changed; Turtles - background information on this "dinosaur in a shell;" and, Hawaii - a visit to our 50th state that will challenge any note-taker.  (5-6)



Listen And Learn, Volume IV


Scripts include:  Golf - the origin and development of the game and some of its equipment;  Our Greenhouse Earth - a description of the greenhouse effect and some of its causes and consequences; Picture This - the early story of photography; Kermit's Kinfolk - details of the history and types of puppets; Cactus - some "prickly" facts about these desert plants; and, Miss Muffet's Visitor - some interesting information about spiders.  (5-6)



Listening Practice Pack (CDs 10706, 10701, 10702, 10703)


Contains all four of the Listen and Learn packages above-- and a 3-ring vinyl binder.  You save over $17.00!



A Sound Basis For Listening Practice


Topics include:  Will Rogers - a portrait of an American legend; Boy Scouts - the history of this time-honored organization; Living Light - a glimpse at some of the "glowing" members of the plant and animal kingdoms (a real listening challenge!); Titanic - explores the great disaster at sea; The Statue of Liberty - the Great Lady's colorful history; and, Aviation - flying, from the Middle Ages to the Wright brothers.  (5-6) 



Contest Scripts For Listening Practice


All of the scripts in this package have been used in UIL District and Invitational Contests and UIL Study Packages.  Topics are:  Mid-Ocean Range - the fascinating undersea mountain range; Kingdom of Kush - ancient rulers along the Nile; Eli Whitney - an American inventor and entrepreneur; The Nez Perce - the people and their famous leader; Library of Congress - the beginnings and growth of a national treasure; and, Boston Tea Party - our most famous tax protest.  (5-6)



More Listening Contest Practice


Scripts are:  Cesar Chavez - founder of the United Farm Workers Union; St. Lawrence Seaway - connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes; Salem Witch Trials - the famous witch hunt that possessed a community; 350-Million-Year-Old Pet - tarantula spiders have been around a very long time; Alfred Nobel -  inventor of dynamite and the Nobel prizes; and, "War of the Worlds" - the Martian invasion that wasn't.  (5-6)


The following audio packages are designed to challenge students at junior high level and up:



The Next Step, Volume I


Subjects include:  The Impressionists - a study of the 19th century art movement; Elephants - a scientific overview of the majestic creatures; Lighter Than Air Craft - the history of balloon aviation; The Amazing, Blazing Sun - with history and statistics about the closest star; Freedom Train's Conductor - Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad; and, Landfills - with startling facts about our trash condition (for the expert note-taker!).  (7-8)



The Next Step, Volume II


Scripts on this tape include:  Clouds - a scientific breakdown of the types and their characteristics; Ants - an intriguing look into these industrious insects; Our Colorful Language - amusing insights into the foibles of American English; Greyhounds of the Sea - the story of the clipper ships of the 19th century; The Mayas - interesting facts on this ancient civilization; and, Lasers - describes the technology of this wonder of modern science.  (7-8)



The Next Step, Volume III


Topics include:  Bats - sheds light on these mysterious mammals; The History of English - how our language has evolved over the years; Dream Time - some of what we know and some of what we don't know about sleep and dreaming; Shaken and Burned - details of San Francisco's 1906 earthquake and fire; Mozart - the life of the great musical genius; and, Mars - fascinating facts about our red neighbor.  (7-8)



The Next Step, Volume IV 


Subjects are:  Down Under - some history and geography about Australia; Vincent - a biography of the compassionate artist, van Gogh; Falcons - information about these hunting birds; Dust of Life - a close look at pollen; Nature's Light Show - some "flashy" facts about lightning; and, Just a Matter of Time - man's efforts to separate now from then.  (7-8)



The Next Step, Complete Set (CDs 11700, 11701, 11702, 11703)


Order all four volumes of The Next Step, get a vinyl 3-ring binder, and save over $13.00!



Contest And Other Practice Scripts


Most of the exercises in this package have appeared in UIL District and Invitational Contests and Study Packets.  Topics are:  Matthew Henson - a biographical sketch of the arctic explorer; Wildfire! - am example of how forest fires behave; Opera - the intertwined arts of music and drama; From Jewels to Tools - some "colorful" information about corundum crystals; Reused News - how old newspaper finds new life through recycling; and, Pompeii - a city preserved in the ashes.  (7-8)



Stepping Up With Listening


Including:  The Colorado River - carver of canyons and lifeblood of cities; Planet Pluto?!? - a solar orbiter with an identity crisis; Edward R. Murrow - reports on the life and work of the great broadcast journalist; Dance of the Continents - studying the movements of the Earth's crust; Pear Harbor - a few hours that changed the course of history; and, From Trash to Textiles - new uses for old plastics.  (7-8)



Listening For Contest Practice


Scripts from UIL District and Invitational contests include:  Migrating Monarchs - the journeys of the monarch butterfly; "Dewey Defeats Truman" - the President behind the headline; Mainstreet, USA - the fabled Route 66 of story and song; Pocahontas - Indian princess and English Lady; Electoral College - it awards presidencies instead of degrees; and, It Is Cricket! - the national game of England.  (7-8)


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All of our TUNE IN stories are original, and none has been published anywhere except in the products we offer here.  We have stories in both audio and print media, so select the format that best suits your classroom needs, or mix and match for variety!


Audio Storybook Library

What in the world are Tiddlebits?  Their enchanting Tiddletown thrives in the fantasies of thousands of young students who've enjoyed their stories for years.  The only place your students can meet these charming creatures is in the TUNE IN Storybook Library.  But that's only half the stories!  In the rest of the library, they'll find boys, girls, teddy bears, animals, bikes and more.  Stories in Volumes I-IV are 5-8 minutes in length.  Shorter tales are 3-5 minutes.


Tales of the Tiddlebits and Other Stories (Vol. I)


Features the original Tiddletown, plus two other Tiddlebit stories, Garden Wedding Feast and Butterflies and Berry Vines.  Also featured are Billy's Birthday, A New Home Town, and Kim Goes to the Country.  (K-3)



New Adventures of the Tiddlebits and More Stories (Vol. II)


Three more Tiddlebit stories, including Days of Old, Bright Tomorrows, and Danger!  Also includes Whiskers, Clouds with Silver Linings,  and On the Beach.  (K-3)



Tiddlebit Adventures & Other Stories (Vol. III)


Tiddlebit stories are A Brother for Bitsy, Swept Away, and The Rescue.  Other stories are Wheels, Once Upon a Shelf, and Mothers' Day.  (K-3)



Tiddlebit Adventures & Other Stories (Vol. IV)


Tiddlebits revisited in Littlebit the Tiddlebit, A New Tiddlebit Talent, and The Visitor.  Also featured are Gertrude, The Tenderfoot Dragon, and Daddy-Cat.  (K-3)



A Treasure Chest of Shorter Tales


Eight shorter stories.  Tiddlebit adventures include: Big Kite, The Haystack, One Man's Trash, and A Tiny, Golden Voice.  Other stories are  The Grand Ball, The Doctor, Sammy's Journey, and Jake's Horse Ride.  (K-3)



More Short Tales


Eight more shorter stories.  The four from Tlddletown:  The Tiddleboat, A Surprising Smell, Winter Magic, and Cappy's Return.  Also includes:  Fancy Cat, Space Ranger, Lost and Found, and The Gift.  (K-3)



The Story Shelf Pack (CDs 23700, 23701, 23702, 23703, 23704, 23705)


All SIX of our story CDs, priced to save you money.  The package includes a vinyl binder.


Printed Stories

For those of you who find that reading stories aloud is just too much fun to leave to anyone else, TUNE IN has a way for you to get involved in story time.  Our books of collected stories include tales from the lands of dream and fantasy and others from the world of everyday.  None of them has been published elsewhere.



Tales to Retell


A book of ten short stories to enliven story time or language arts classes:  The Dragon; First Place; Christmas Season; Free to a Good Home; The Looks of Things; A Different Kind of Danger; Better Than New; The Crossing; Three-in-One: Trick or Treat; and The Old Birthday Present.  (K-3)



Tell Us Again


Ten more story time tales: The Wizard; Not Just for Fun; The Lonely Goldfish; Riding the Wind; The Gateway; The Grumpiest Angel; Old Fashioned Fun; Dog Heaven; Midnight Visitors; and Dragon Light.   (K-3)


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TUNE IN's DVD video workshops help students prepare for speech assignments and UIL contests.  The Prose and Poetry workshop is designed for the high school freshman level, but can be useful to younger students with some experience and to older students just getting started.  Oral Reading covers many of the same elements of preparation for a successful performance, but is targeted for younger students. 

24623 Essentials of Prose & Poetry Oral Interpretation (DVD) $44.95

The workshop facilitator gives students specific, step-by-step instructions for how to rehearse for a performance.  Instruction is presented in manageable sections:  Selecting and Learning Literature - tips on choosing the right material for each performer;  The Body - using hands, arms and the body, along with proper use of the printed manuscript;  The Face - how to practice facial expressions that help breathe life into the performance;   The Eyes - eye contact, expression, and determining the proper focal point for various aspects of the literature;  The Voice - lessons on pitch, volume, inflection, and pacing.  These sections, which provide students a clear focus on each aspect of the performance, can be reviewed one at a time, as a unit or spread across different class periods or rehearsal sessions.   The final workshop section, Putting It All Together, ties all the earlier sections together, giving students all the tools they need for a cohesive and effective oral presentation.  (8 and up)


24612 Oral Reading for Young Performers (DVD) $44.95

An experienced classroom teacher and successful UIL coach describes in detail how to prepare for successful oral reading performances.  Designed for elementary, middle school and junior high students, this workshop covers each of the elements of a good performance, from choosing the right prose or poetry selection through planning, rehearsing and performing.  Student demonstrations, with commentary from the instructor, illustrate how vocal techniques, posture, eye contact, and facial expressions can bring literature to life.  (5-8)


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Developing good materials that thoroughly teach students dictionary skills -- and prepare them for the UIL Dictionary Skills contest -- can take a great deal of time.  Why not try the instructional and practice materials we've already developed for your classroom and contest use?

Instructional Packages

We design TUNE IN dictionary skills audio CD packages to help students learn to get full value from dictionaries as reference books.  Each package includes recorded instructions and practice exercises, with students' exercise worksheets and teachers' answer keys provided.  To reinforce lessons learned, we include additional written practice exercises that can be used immediately after completion of the audio lessons, or at a later time.  Lessons and exercises generally are applicable to any student dictionary, but specific examples and page references are drawn from the Merriam Webster Intermediate Dictionary.  Students who use other dictionaries will find some of the lessons harder to follow.  Dictionaries are not included in our packages.



Look It Up, Volume I


Instructions and exercises in alphabetization, syllable division, using guide words, pronunciation, multiple listings, abbreviations, & more.  (5-6)



Look It Up, Volume II


Expands on skills covered in Volume I, then adds new instructions and exercises in etymology, phrasal entries, prefixes and suffixes, & more.  (7-8)



Look It Up Pack (35700 and 35710)


Save with our 2-volume set.

Practice Tests

For those who want additional dictionary exercises, we offer sets of practice tests in UIL contest format.  Each set contains three 40-item tests, with multiple choice, matching and fill-in-the-blank questions.  Questions and answer keys for all tests are based on the Merriam Webster Intermediate Dictionary.  Elementary sets are designed for Grades 5 and 6.  Intermediate sets are for Grades 7 and 8.


Elementary Dictionary Practice, Set I



Elementary Dictionary Practice, Set II



Elementary Dictionary Practice, Set III




Intermediate Dictionary Practice, Set I



Intermediate Dictionary Practice, Set II



Intermediate Dictionary Practice, Set III



Word Power Exercises

For still more dictionary practice, try our Word Power Workout series of exercises and tests based on words from former UIL spelling lists and on the Merriam Webster Intermediate Dictionary.  Each package contains five activities (such as alphabetization, guide words, syllable division, pronunciation, prefixes and suffixes, word forms, definitions, word origin, and dictionary "extras") and two dictionary tests.  Level 1 sets are based on spelling lists for grades 3 and 4, Level 2 sets on lists for grades 5 and 6, and Level 3 sets on lists for grades 7 and 8.  These materials were previously available as part of TUNE IN's Spell It Out packages.



Word Power Workout, Level 1, Vol. I



Word Power Workout, Level 1, Vol. II



Word Power Workout, Level 1, Vol. III



Word Power Workout, Level 1, Vol. IV




Word Power Workout, Level 2, Vol. I



Word Power Workout, Level 2, Vol. II



Word Power Workout, Level 2, Vol. III


35053 Word Power Workout, Level 2, Vol. IV $10.00



Word Power Workout, Level 3, Vol. I



Word Power Workout, Level 3, Vol. II



Word Power Workout, Level 3, Vol. III


35073 Word Power Workout, Level 3, Vol. IV $10.00

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Each Spell It Out volume contains audio CDs with recorded practice tests for the Spelling Contest, accompanied by a student answer sheet and printed copies of the tests.  About 80% of the spelling test words are from the official UIL Spelling List, and about 20% are from other sources, which is what students will hear in the actual contest.  Each Spell It Out volume also includes one copy of the official UIL Spelling List.



Spell It Out, Volume I (2015-2016)


Includes two CDs with 15 spelling tests (50 words per test), plus a student answer sheet and printed copies of recorded tests. (3-4)


Spell It Out, Volume II (2015-2016)


Includes two CDs with 10 spelling tests (80 words per test), plus a student answer sheet and printed copies of recorded tests. (5-6)


Spell It Out, Volume III (2015-2016)


Includes two CDs with eight spelling tests (110 words per test), plus a student answer sheet and printed copies of recorded tests.  (7-8)


SpellPack (2015-2016) (36700, 36701, 36710)


Save when you buy all three volumes of Spell It Out.

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For teachers short on time and students short on experience, TUNE IN can help with practice to develop writing skills.  These exercises were developed specifically for the UIL Creative Writing Contest, but are great for language art classes.


Creative Writing for Beginners


This print package includes writing samples, specific tips for improving stories, learning exercises, and visual prompt sheets in contest format to help students get started with their stories.  (2-3)



Contest Practice Prompts


A set of picture prompts in contest format, with "story starter" suggestions to give students a variety of practice activities. (2-3)