What is LEA?

Learning Experience Approach is an instructional strategy which allows students to turn their experiences into a learning opportunity.  LEA is a hands on approach of learning to read. The students must preform an activity which they do not receive instruction from the teacher to perform this task. After experiencing the activity, the students must explain the activity in a step by step manner. The teacher facilitating the activity will write down each students comments in the exact way that the student spoke. This way you are using the students own vocabulary and way of speaking to practice reading. After writing down all the steps of the activity, the facilitator needs to help students to formulate more complete sentences. As a class, choral read these steps together. Get each student to write down this text to practice at home. The students will be able to relate the steps of the activity to the words that they see on the paper to help with word recognition.

Why is LEA important?

LEA is a useful activity because this allows students to learn through experience. After the experience the teacher will be able to teach reading based on a memory. This is a form of scaffolding which takes information that they have learned and built on that knowledge. LEA is also useful because the activity can be tailored for any experience that may fit with the theme of your class.

Benefits of using LEA

LEA is a useful approach because the student experiences the activity for themselves.  Also, this approach uses the child’s sentences and words that they created to learn how to read.  LEA is an inquiry approach to learning.  It is always beneficial to get the students working hands on.  This makes the students think and look at activities analytically.

Drawbacks of LEA

Using LEA to teach reading does have some drawbacks.  Firstly, allowing the students to experience the activity forces the teacher to stand back and not contribute even if the students may not be on the correct track.  Secondly, the teacher can not prepare the entire lesson because a lot of the lesson goes off of the students answers.  This makes planning difficult.

Process of LEA

1.  This is a possible art project.  The students will be make leprechaun puppets.  I chose this activity because I thought the students would enjoy it and it is relevant to the time of the year.


  • leprechaun template (one for each student)
  • paper bag (one for each student)
  • googly eyes (one pair for each student)
  • scissors
  • markers/pencil crayons
  • glue


-Give the students each a a leprechaun template to colour. The templates give the students instruction of what template should be used for which part of the body. Also, their is a guideline for what colour could be used for which part of the body.

-The students will then cut out all the pieces of their templates and paste these on the paper bag.

This seems to be a fairly easy activity so the students will not need a lot of guidance and direction to get the project completed.

2.  After the activity is complete, teacher needs to have a discussion with the students.  This discussion is basically a step by step instruction that is given by the students.

3.  The teacher writes down each step of the activity.  This is written exactly how the student says it should be.  Get the student to create complex sentences by asking them questions like what did you do?  Who are you speaking to?

4.  The next step is choral reading.  The students will read the sentences that they have formed, out loud.

5.  Lastly, the students will write down all of the sentences into a booklet to take home and continue practicing the words.

VIDEO:  LEA in practice


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