Judith Barker

Visual Sounds in Stories

Ideas for multisensory literacy.

Judith’s passion for developing children’s learning of phonics and phonemic awareness has resulted in wonderfully written and illustrated books that highlight the complexities of our written English. Apart from fostering phonics and phonemic awareness the stories also develop imagination, language and vocabulary in young readers. We were thrilled to have Judith presenting at the 2021 Fish Creek Children’s Literature Festival where she gave both a presentation and workshop that were stimulating and extremely well received by her audience.

Deb Bray, Speech Pathologist
2021 Fish Creek Children’s Literature Festival Organiser
books published

Judith Barker

Director of Visual Sounds in Stories


I deliver 3 x 45-minute presentations or 3 x 1-hour presentation according to the grades and literacy levels of the students. Each presentation can be customised to suit the needs of the teachers and librarians. The session times can be scheduled according to the regular school timetable.

Visual Sounds in Stories is designed to reinforce the teaching and learning of sound, letter and spelling recognition, or phonemic awareness in a fun, dynamic and interactive environment. This is achieved through a range of multi-sensory activities including, art and craft, music, movement and relaxation.   

My presentations are designed for Year 1 – 3 students, however, I customise the sessions according to the needs of the learners, teachers, librarians, special education teachers and speech therapists. Children of similar ages or mixed groups may be combined into the same sessions (e.g. P–1, 2–3 or 4) and I always differentiate the presentation for learners with special needs, or those at risk. A standard session size is about 18 – 25 students, depending on requirements.

Presentation Overview

I begin with a Q&A: “How are you feeling?” I ask the students to get in touch with their emotions and feelings using creative hand gestures and movement.

A short 5-minute guided relaxation helps students feel comfortable and prepares them for learning.


What are sounds?


Guess the sounds.

I hand out posters to help with the spelling patterns of the long vowels (OO and/or EE).

Book reading of The OO in Uluru and/or The Ee in the Deep Blue Sea accompanied by projector slides.

Time for feedback.

Rock painting (incorporated into an art class), two-minute plays (pair work), making decodable mini books and other options are available.


Judith Barker's Visual Sounds in Stories aims to support the teaching and learning of phonics and phonemic awareness through a range of multi-sensory activities to enhance literacy in young readers with diverse needs - in a fun, dynamic and meaningful way including, art, music, movement and relaxation.