Finding the Best Decodable Texts for Your Beginning Reader
So, you’re looking to stock your shelves with decodable texts. A simple internet search for decodable texts will yield a handful of materials. But before you shop around, here are a few pointers from our resident expert and founder, Jill Lauren, on what to look for in decodable texts:
"Be sure that the stories have a full narrative arc. This would include a plot with a problem to be solved. As children learn to read, they also need to learn how to think about text structure. Text with a true beginning, middle, and end that relates to the solving of a problem will enable children to interact with the story on a thoughtful level. Questions such as, 'What do you think will happen?' or 'Why did that character act that way?' will lead to important and meaningful conversations that can help children learn how to think as they read."
"To both truly learn a new sound and be able to apply it, children need significant practice reading words with that target sound. Your bookshelves should be stocked with multiple books that include words with the new sound. Also, that sound should appear as much as possible throughout the rest of the series."
Strict scope and sequence
"Some phonics programs are what I call 'polluted,' meaning that they contain many words with sounds that have not yet been taught. When children try to sound out such words, they are often met with frustration. A strict scope and sequence means that the books will contain decodable words utilizing familiar sounds and sight words that have been specifically taught, leading to a sense of accomplishment and success."
"Over the years, I’ve noticed that children love when characters return in their stories. Even more exciting is seeing multicultural characters that resemble the world they know. Books that include such characters who return over the course of the series give children a chance to make a connection to the characters. Beginning to read should be an adventure! A child’s first experiences as a reader should help them to understand that books are a place of wonder."
Here’s where we’ve made this pretty easy for you: Whole Phonics™ readers and workbooks are specifically designed and written to satisfy all of these requirements, and then some. With distinct units and levels, the structured program focuses on isolating and mastering phonemes in a sequence, all while your reader enjoys the adventures of beloved characters in real stories.
Shop the Whole Phonics™ Level 1 readers here and Level 2 readers here, and happy reading!