Tips and Resources
CAST's model books are designed to help you author learning supports so you can reach a diverse audience through Universal Design for Learning. Explore model books for examples of different applications of UDL to inspire your own work. Student versions of the model books (without Terry) are available in the public library.
Terry, the giraffe, is your guide through the model books. She can be thought of as a "meta-coach" that supports you, the author, as you create content and develop media. Terry's tips are based on research in education, psychology, and communication, and of course, on UDL principles.
Book Builder's Model books:
- demonstrate the latest Book Builder features;
- model different ways to use coaches;
- show a range of genres and audience age levels;
- provide technical help for media;
- link to related research for authoring.
Your book might be eligible to become a Model Book! To submit your book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your book's URL, and explain why you think it will make a good model! Consider how you would author Terry to help others understand your approach to creating your book and its UDL supports.
Genres/LevelsThe Model Books cover a range of genres and age/grade levels, and show a variety of ways to use coaches to support diverse learners. For example:
- Affect, motivation and social development: (Jake Likes to Play Games, Lily and Paxton and the Missing Flower, Play Ball with Me, Using Book Builder to Develop and Write Social Stories)
- Pre-reading and early reading skills: (Finding the Jaguars, Gus's Rainforest Adventure, My Colorful Snowman)
- Historical inquiry: (Making History, A guided Exploration of Historical Inquiry)
- Adolescent literacy: (Young Goodman Brown)
- Graphic Design: (Designing for Student Engagement and Comprehension)
The coaches you create on each page are very important for UDL. They help your readers understand book content and develop new skills along the way. The coaches form an extra layer on top of the book, inviting readers to think about what they read and engage with the text, images, and audio.
Authoring coaches is a bit of an art. To get started, create a role for each coach and keep that role consistent throughout the book. This makes it easier for you to author coach scripts, and it makes it easier for your readers to know what to expect when they click on a particular coach. Sometimes it helps to name a coach using a pneumonic device. For instance, in some of our model books, Pedro offers a Prompt, Hali offers a Hint, and Monty offers a Model. In the model book, Designing for Student Engagement and Comprehension, the coach "Designer" offers graphic design hints; the coach "Techie" offers technical help for implanting design ideas; and the coach "Reff" offers research references to increase background knowledge.
Your own imagination and your own teaching experience will guide you in creating helpful coaches to support your audience, whatever their ages, in gaining understanding of book content, developing strategies for understanding text and other media, and engaging their interest and enthusiasm for reading.
We hope you will invent all kinds of new ways to name and use coaches!