I’ve just discovered lots of short, free decodable texts on the Free Reading website, why haven’t I seen this site before?
I’m now busy downloading all the colour pdf versions (I keep getting “Gateway errors” but that could be my internet), and you can get these texts too by clicking here.
They start off containing basic consonant spellings including doubled consonants, and just “short” vowel sounds – “a” as in “cat”, “e” as in “bed”, “i” as in “win”, “o” as in “not”, “u” as in “bus” or “put”.
They also gradually introduce a list of 30 high-frequency words including less common or unusual spelling patterns, and have a lot of useful teaching tools.
The texts also contain lots of consonant blends and some two-syllable words, so they are for learners who can blend more than three sounds into a syllable, and are learning to tackle longer words one syllable at a time.
Because they are American, the texts include words like “grass” and “last”, in which Australians pronounce the vowel “ar”. The learners I work with don’t have a problem with this, because they’ve all watched American TV, so when they hear themselves sound out “grass” with an American accent, they know they mean that green stuff in the park.
Decodable fiction texts
The fiction passages aren’t going to win any literary awards, but they’re a bite-size length for decoding instruction, and are for learners who are putting most of their attentional resources into just getting words off the page correctly, and tend not to care too much whether short narratives like these are compelling.
However, there are some that have what approaches an introduction, complication and resolution and could even spark an interesting conversation:
After a while a few extra spellings like the “ck” in “back” and the “y” in “happy” start to come into the stories:
Some of the texts are just plain silly (something I am not necessarily averse to, or that’s uncommon in children’s literature, remember Alice and the looking-glass), like this one, in which the supposedly red truck looks more like a lurid pink convertible to me, and the back of the “den” seems to be outside:
Anyway, if you are keen to become a good reader, at first you want to read street signs, cereal packets, whatever, so I’ll keep this text in reserve in case someone needs extra practice at this level.
Decodable nonfiction texts
There are also a series of nonfiction passages like this one (the author of which I am definitely not putting in charge of catering for anything):
Might get my tippex out once I have printed it, and change the menu to something more generic like “lots of snacks and drinks”. Here’s another one that’s a bit healthier:
These decodable texts are freebies, so I’m happy to add them to my collection of reading material, so that I have plenty of variety to offer learners.
I hope you find some of them useful too. Thanks so much to the generous people at FreeReading.net!