Decodable Reading Passages in 1st Grade

back to school, Phonics

Why Use Decodable Reading Passages?

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We know that students need explicit instruction in the essential components of reading including phonics, phonological awareness, comprehension, fluency and vocabulary. Decodable reading passages are a great way to teach phonics, fluency, and comprehension!

Decodable Passages:

  • Provide systematic phonics instruction
  • Are fun for students and easy to implement for teachers
  • Provide quality text at a carefully controlled level
  • Can be used in a variety of settings

How to use the decodable reading passages:

Students are introduced to the phonics pattern with pictures and words. Have students highlight the new decodable skill.
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Introduce the Phonics Pattern

On the front cover students are introduced to, or review, a phonics sound. Students practice reading words with the pattern, picture clues are included for support. I like students to use a highlighter and highlight the target skill. The words will appear again in the reading passage.

Children practice reading words, stories, finding words that follow the phonics pattern, and answering comprehension questions.
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Practice the New Phonics Skill

Next, students open the booklets. They apply their phonics skills to read words with the pattern along the left column. Encourage students to read the list at least three times to increase their fluency. 

Read the Decodable Text

Now it is time to read the phonics-based reading passage! Students should be able to read the text independently. There may be a few high-frequency words that you need to introduce prior to reading. Have the students read the passage multiple times to work on fluency. 

Search for Words within the Decodable Reading Passage

Next, students search through the passage and find all the words that fit the word pattern being taught. You can have children circle or highlight them. Then, they write them on the list at the bottom center of the page. You can see students are getting a TON of practice with the new phonics skill!!!

Reading Comprehension

After reading and finding the words, it is time for students to do some reading comprehension work! At this level, students complete a fill in the blank activity. Later in the year, students answer questions about the text. This is a great way to get students back into the text one more time!

A picture of the back cover of the decodable reading passage. Students write words with the phonics pattern. It is a great way to assess student learning.
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Apply the New Phonics Learning

The back cover of the booklet provides a great opportunity for students to apply their new learning! Students write words that contain the learned phonics pattern. Children should be able to write the words without looking back in the passage. This page is a great way for you to assess your students understanding of the learned skill.

Learn More about the Decodable Readers

Currently, I have five sets of phonics-based reading passages: short vowels, consonant digraphs, silent er-controlled vowelsvowel teams, and diphthongs.

A bundle is also available with all of the sets. Any new sets I create, will also be added to it!

Decodable Passages Bundle
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Want to try a decodable book? You can download a free sample.

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Learn even more about phonics instruction with the post about using word sorts in your classroom.

Hi, I’m Jaymie! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I taught for 17 years including 12 years in First Grade, 4 years as a Reading Interventionist, and 1 year in Pre-K. 

I have a passion for creating rigorous, easy to use primary resources that require little or no prep! I hope you find some easy ideas to take back to your classroom or use in your homeschool!

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