An essential component to use during instruction in phonics is decodable text. Why?
Decodable text contains a high incidence of words made up of the phonic element(s) being learned. For example, if the student is learning the short vowel ‘i,’ then the words in the decodable text will have many words using the short ‘i’ sound. If the focus of the phonic lessons is on the prefix ‘re,’ then there should be many words in the text with the prefix ‘re.’
The other words in the text need to contain phonic elements that the student(s) has already learned. In order to make the text more readable, a small number of high-frequency words can be included.
Eventually, when much of the phonic elements have been explicitly taught and students have had ample practice reading words with these phonic elements in decodable text, students will be able to read trade books (picture books and chapter books, for example).
Where can we find decodable texts? Not amongst the various leveled readers, such as Collections, Scholastic, Pearson, Literacy Place, Journeys, Reading A-Z leveled readers or Leveled Literacy Intervention kits!
While there are many decodable texts for younger students, finding decodable texts that engage students in grades 2-6, can be challenging. Here are some to consider:
Books to Remember: Decodable Literature Library
Phonic Books – Catch Up Readers
Recipe for Reading: The Alphabet Series