Top Resources for Decodable Texts for Older Students

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics

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 K2 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

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.

Storyshares

Storyshares publishes decodable texts for students in grades 3–12. By anthologizing multiple decodable texts into single books, older students that need decoding support get their hands on books that look and feel like grade-level texts. Additionally, these decodables feature engaging topics and vivid photographs. The upper elementary series, Dream With Us, follows the storylines and dreams of eight characters from all over North America who travel the world in their dreams, written by authors who authentically represent the background and cultures of these characters. 

The scope and sequence of this series starts with CVC words and progresses through blends and multisyllabic closed syllable words before addressing the remaining syllable types and introducing prefixes and suffixes. The high school series, The Hidden Gems, focuses on coming-of-age experiences and follows a similar scope and sequence, providing students with experience reading complex words with up to four syllables. Each series comes with a detailed structured literacy educator companion that includes strategies for fluency practice, vocabulary guides, comprehension questions, and more.

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.

Simple Words Books: You can check out the scope and sequence of these decodable chapter books here.

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.