cross P ranch
Horse Powered Reading &
Horse Powered Teaching and Learning

Michele & Steve Pickel
Lino Lakes, Minnesota


Michele Pickel PhD
Associate Professor of Education - Concordia University St, Paul
PK-8 MN Teaching License with K-12 Reading Endorsement
Advanced EAGALA Certified

NEW:  4 week summer school curriculum
(Available to students enrolled in the online course)

During June 2016, a  public school in WY used Horse Powered Reading for their
4 week elementary Special Education Summer School. Each week focused on a different reading skill, working 1 morning in the arena followed by the next morning in the classroom. The kids then go back to the arena for day 3 with day 4 again in the classroom for activities and games to reinforce concepts.

 The first day was an overwhelming success!
Reports from the kids included,
"It was a BLAST!"  "I LOVE it! - I LOVE my horse! - Can I take her home?" 
The facilitators reported that the kids refused to take their snack break because they didn't want to leave the horses - not even to use the bathroom!
One teacher said,
"Even the kids who normally avoid work were eager to do the activities."

 During Spring & Fall semesters 2017, the HPR curriculum was used with students at an elementary school in northern Alberta, Canada with wonderful responses from students AND teachers!

Experiential Reading for the Classroom

Experiential Reading Activities are Horse Powered Reading activities adapted for educators to use in a classroom when the horses are not available.  
These activities can be even more impact
ful when used in conjunction with EAGALA model Horse Powered Reading field trips or tutoring!
Below is a link to my Mighty Mini Must-Do List of Reading skills & resources that I believe give some of the biggest boost in the shortest time - AND the presentation from MEA that includes ideas for games and activities to go with each skill area.

2.9 MB

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Below are the Fry first 100 words list (you can google the 2nd & 3rd 100)
& the 37 phonograms to decode by analogy (they make up to 500 words)

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 Education Minnesota Teacher Conference 2013 presentation.pdf
2.7 MB

Here are some of my favorite resources to develop Experiential Reading activities .docx
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Horse Powered Reading 
is helping people in several different ways:

  1. Class field trips - During field trip activities the classroom teacher becomes a 3rd member of the facilitation team. This gives the teacher deeper insight into the abilities and motivations of various students. Primary grades may focus on building background knowledge, vocabulary and fluency development while upper grades and adults add activities to explore comprehension.                                                            Open the link below to see an example of a Pre-K/K or primary trip!  Wild West Field Trip photos 
  2. Teacher Training Workshops – Three hour teacher workshops take faculty on a “Journey to Literacy” in which they explore all five areas of literacy instruction (see Bridge to Reading). Working in teams, teachers experience five activities designed to create metaphors for each skill area. For both class field trips and teacher training, when possible it is helpful to go to their school during the week following the experience to have deeper discussions exploring reading metaphors created in the arena. For teachers, this becomes a mini reading workshop. Continuing education hours are available for teachers.
  3. Individual or small group tutoring - In tutoring situations, input from and collaboration with the student’s teacher is extremely beneficial.  By having a signed release of information form from the parent, current assessment results from school can provide help in development of EAL sessions. Working with the student’s teacher also helps in developing the metaphors that arise in the arena.
  4. Week long summer fun programs - With five key areas of reading instruction (see Bridge to Reading), summer programming fits neatly packaged into five days. One key area becomes the focus of each day. Below you can see slides from a Summer Fun HPR Program a few years ago, and on the home page you can see this year's photo diary!
        See slides of Summer Fun Horse Powered Reading Program

For information or to register for the
online HPR course:

"Introduction to Experiential and
Horse Powered Reading Instruction

Email Michele Pickel
or call 651-343-5016

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