Decodable books are books that a child can read once she/he has been taught the phonics in the book. It is really important to see decodable books as an experience that will be successful if enough preparation is made beforehand. First, do the activities that are recommended in the video below. Once your child is confident, they can read the book successfully and independently!
So, what do kids need to know before they read a decodable book?
- They need to read a book which is at their reading level.
- They need to know the spellings (graphemes) in the book. These are the spellings that should be listed for the teacher/parent/carer in the book. Graphemes are spellings that represent sounds in words. They can be simple ones like the letters of the alphabet or complex ones like ‘igh’ in the word ‘n igh t’. We are aiming for an automatic recognition of these spellings so that when the children see them in a word they will know how to sound them out. The video below shows you some activities and games that will help your child learn these spellings.
- They need to know how to blend these spellings into words. Blending is an activity which kids need to practice from the very beginning of reading. When you read with your child, encourage them to blend the sounds in the words from left to right, pointing at the letters. If there is a spelling in the word they don’t know, tell them what that sound is. Allow them to blend the whole word themselves.