A mounting body of research indicates that most children need explicit instruction regarding the relationship between sounds and letters. But, explicit and systematic instruction isn’t enough — we also need to make sure students are getting enough practice reading and spelling with the sound-symbol correspondences they have learned. This is where decodable texts can be useful.
There are many examples of decodable texts for younger students, but when working with older striving readers, what materials should we use? Some older readers may not enjoy the decodable texts that are geared towards K–2 students. To help, we’ve compiled a list of resources for parents and teachers of older students who would benefit from decodable texts:
High Noon Books are perhaps the most well known publishers of decodable texts for older students. They have many texts on their website that you can explore, some of which are written as chapter books and/or an adventure series to capture the attention of students. Selections include the Moon Dog series about a group of teenage friends who are in a band (these start with CVC words in Set 1, blends and digraphs in Set 2, and more complex spelling patterns in Sets 3, 4, and 5), the That Dog! series about siblings Ben and Abi who try to persuade their mom to let them keep a stray dog, the Dragon Egg Series about a dragon named Bella and a girl named Mina who cross paths, and the Island Adventure Series about the adventures of Jack and his little sister, Snub, as they visit their grandparents. You can find more information about these books and many more on their website.
Other decodable text options for older students include:
Rex Runs Off: This series of decodable chapter books is written at the CVC level and features the adventures of a dog named Rex.
S.P.I.R.E.: S.P.I.R.E has a robust library of 120 decodable fiction and nonfiction titles, featuring topics in science, social studies, poetry, Greek mythology, and more.