Reading booklets for each letter of the alphabet can be made up into a classroom set for use in phonics lessons. Use them to introduce the letter of the week. Then follow up with the students making their own booklet about the letter to take home and read (using the blank format of the booklet). This quickly becomes a predictable routine for the class: The teacher reads an alphabet book with the whole group, then in small groups, the students make their own copy to reinforce understandings of the letter.
These booklets are also ideal for developing early reading concepts because of the predictability and repetition of the text. Children feel great satisfaction from being able to independently read them to their families, and can form their own collections with a booklet for every letter. There is also a growing collection of beginner readers on various themes for students to personalise and keep.
Beginning readers: predictable and repetitive text
These are black and white templates that form into 8 page booklets for students to keep and read to their families. Learners can individualise them by colouring and adding details to the illustrations. They are made in the form of simple books that students often begin reading at school. They are predictable and repetitive. Once an adult has read the story to a child, they usually remember it and therefore can 'read' it back with some visual clues on each page. Students should follow the text with their fingers while the teacher reads it aloud to the group. On each page, a question can be posed to ensure students are focused on the text. "Put your finger on the word is." "What is the last word in this sentence?"
Beginning readers can learn a lot about written language and books with stories like these. Children can develop an awareness of sight words, punctuation, phonics and more general concepts with the use of these types of text. With support from an older sibling or parent, students can focus on different things each day within a book, and the one story can be a valuable learning experience for a whole week. Some ideas for getting the most out of beginning readers will be added soon.
Beginning readers: first sight words and cvc words
These booklets consist of 8 small pages in each. The text is composed of simple focus words as well as c-v-c words that are simple to sound out. Some have basic pictures that can be coloured in. Some are blank so that students can illustrate the pages to demonstrate comprehension. I suggest these texts are used in small groups as a guided reading lesson. The adult (teacher or parent helper) can guide the students through the text before cutting and assembling the book. This way students can have an idea of how each book is set up. It is best to place the pages in the same order as they are made. They have not been numbered, so that this can be part of the reading task. Students may take it in turns to read the pages to the group, or read individually to a friend or adult. When the booklet is complete, they have their own book to take home and read with confidence to their family. The concept behind this activity is for the student to have repetitive experiences with words in context.
Level 1 vocabulary: the to and be in can look I at