To celebrate the removal of predictable texts and multicueing from the Australian National Curriculum (yippee!), more Phonics with Feeling printable decodable books are now available from the Spelfabet website.
These provide an affordable way to help Year 1 and 2 students, advanced Foundation students, and slightly older strugglers to build decoding skills. They are longer than most decodable books, allowing for cohesive narratives, entertaining plots, engaging characters, and themes worth talking about.
Free book targeting u…e as in ‘rule’ and u as in ‘judo’
The new book “Not a Tutu” can be downloaded for free here. It’s about a child whose grandpa notices her interest in a costume shop window. On her birthday, she is jubilant to receive judo lessons from an aunt, and flippers and goggles from her mum, but deflated by a tutu from her grandpa. Her mum says her grandpa was a swimming champion, and urges Lucy to tell him the truth, and ask for what she really wants.
This book thus opens up an opportunity to talk to children about deciding between pleasing other people and pleasing ourselves, and whether/when we can do both.
The book completes the Phonics with Feeling Extended Code Set Three, which now has six books. I’ll send an updated file to previous purchasers.
New Set Nine targeting multiple spellings of ‘long’ vowels
The new Set Nine books are for children in later Grade 1 or Grade 2, and contain eight stories which print as six books (two stories each in the last two books). This set targets multiple ways to spell ‘long’ vowel sounds. Some are for revision/retrieval practice, as they’re covered in earlier sets, and some are new:
- Revision of a…e as in make, a as in making, ai as in rain and ay as in day, and introducing ey as in they, ea as in break, eigh as in weigh and aigh as in straight.
- Revision of ee as in see, ea as in sea, e as in be, e…e as in these, y as in funny, and introducing ie as in chief, ei as in seize, i…e as in police.
- Revision of i…e as in time, i as in find, y as in my, ie as in tie and igh as in night, and introducing eigh as in height and is as in island.
- Revision of o…e as in home, o as in no, oa as in boat and ow as in slow, and introducing ou as in soul, oe as in toe, ough as in though and ew as in sew.
- Revision of u…e as in flute, u as in brutal, oo as in moon, ue as in blue and ew as in chew, and introducing ui as in suit, ou as in soup, ough as in through, oe as in shoe and wo as in two (though splitting ‘two’ up into two graphemes is tricky, the ‘w’ was once pronounced, as it still is in twin, twice, twelve, between, twilight etc).
- Revision of u…e as in cute, u as in unit, and introducing ew as in few, ewe as in ewe (the sheep), eu as in feud, ue as in cue, ui as in nuisance.
Again, this set downloads with a printable quiz for each book, or you can use these online Wordwall ones.
New Set Two book “Bruce the Recluse” targeting u…e as in flute
The original Set Two includes the book “The Mule Who Refused” targeting the spelling ‘u…e’ as in ‘cute’ (really two sounds, as in the word ‘you’), but there wasn’t a book targeting the same spelling pronounced /oo/ as in ‘June’ (without the initial /y/ sound).
A new book, ‘Bruce the Recluse’, fills this gap. It’s about a boy who feels excluded and picked on by his older siblings, so he decides to live in a secluded tent and become a recluse. He soon finds it’s a bit boring and lonely, so when his siblings show remorse and offer olive branches, and he provisionally relents. This book offers an opportunity to discuss the pluses and minuses of sibling relationships with children, as well as giving them plenty of decoding practice.
People who have already bought the original Set Two books will be sent the new file of six books, as this extra book isn’t available separately.
Who are Phonics With Feeling books for?
There are no Phonics With Feeling books for absolute literacy beginners, because so many good options are already available. The Spelfabet website has decodable quizzes if extra text at true beginners’ level is required. The main focus of the Phonics With Feeling Extended Code books is gradually introducing and revising vowel spellings, which are the hardest thing about sound-letter relationships in English, and the point at which many children struggle and require extra practice.
The author of the Phonics With Feeling books has a PhD in literature, and wrote them to give her grandchildren reading success, pleasure and emotional engagement. Every set now downloads with printable quizzes, and has online Wordwall quizzes.
Printing and assembling Phonics With Feeling books
Download the books’ pdf files, and save them onto your computer. Each set has three files: the book itself, an information file and a quiz. The information file is the same for each set, so you only need to download it once.
We use 220 gsm coloured cardboard for the covers, and print them first, via the rear feed of our printer. The covers are the first 10-12 pages of each set. We then print the rest of the books on A4 paper using the “flip on short edge” setting, then assemble, staple and fold the books with a long-arm stapler (which most schools have). The whole set fits nicely into this colourful box from our local stationery supplier:
Please note that there are now ten Phonics With Feeling sets (one Initial Code Review set and nine Extended Code review sets), each with five or six books, available from the Spelfabet website. A tenth Extended Code set, focussing on extra spellings of ‘r-controlled’ and ‘short’ vowels, is being fine-tuned, will be available shortly.
DSF conference discount code
Attendees of the recent DSF Language, Learning and Literacy virtual conference can use their 20% conference discount code for Spelfabet website purchases till 31st May 2022.