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First Phonics, Beginner Readers to Year 8 English literacy resources

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Phonic Awareness series

Alphabet sounds

The pictures are funny and funky and loud so that learning the basic phonics sounds is instantly appealing to even the most reluctant reader.

Saying each sound twice doubles the listening sensitivity and physical feel of each letter in alphabetic order. Each phonic and grapheme is simultaneously heard, seen, spoken, practised and used in teacher-modelled sentences.
Each alphabetic letter has its own page and is said in a rhythmical chant-like manner:
a a ant - - b b bat - - c c cat
through to z z zap.

a in the middle

Twenty eight CVC words with a as the middle vowel are set out so a becomes ba then ba becomes bat and a picture page matches each set of eight CVC words.

The format in Books 2 -6 in the Loud Phonics Series introduces the process and logic of how to blend the familiar phonic sounds learnt in Book 1 into three-letter CVC words.
Optional extra teaching concepts: The breathing of reading and left to right eye movement can be introduced with this book.

e in the middle

Twenty eight CVC words with e as the middle vowel are set out so e becomes re then re becomes red and a picture page matches each set of eight CVC words.

The format introduced in Book 2 of the Loud Phonics Series continues in Book 3 by teaching the process of how to blend known sounds into three-letter CVC words.
Optional extra teaching concept: Active listening activities will continue the 'how to visualise' process so that reading for meaning will happen for all learners. Comprehension of a text or spoken information depends on visualisation.

i in the middle

Twenty eight CVC words with i as the middle vowel are set out so i becomes pi then pi becomes pin and a picture page matches each set of eight CVC words.

Optional extra teaching concepts: The creative process of making up spoken story sentences utilising the words in this book can be introduced here. Improvisations such as these fire the imagination and become the foundation for creative visualisation, originality, sequential thinking and story writing. 

o in the middle

Twenty eight CVC words with o as the middle vowel are set out so o becomes co then co becomes cob and a picture page matches each set of eight CVC words.

Optional extra teaching concepts: Observation of how the jaw, tongue and mouth muscles are needed to make different sounds of speech can be introduced with this book.
Ideas for how to do this are set out in the Teacher’s book, BOOK  8.

u in the middle

Twenty eight CVC words with u as the middle vowel are set out so u becomes hu then hu becomes hum and a picture page matches each set of eight CVC words.

Optional extra teaching concepts: Rhyming words, alliteration and the rhythm of language can be introduced to complement this book. 
References for Nursery Rhymes and short poems are included in the Teacher’s book, BOOK  8.

y as a vowel

Twenty one words with y as the vowel-sound aI as in fly are set out for explicit systematic teaching.

This book helps to teach that many letters, as in y for yellow and y as in baby will have more than one sound. Each word in this book has its own illustration and an example sentence.

Optional extra teaching concepts: Wanting to write words and short sentences will already be happening for many learners without being prompted to do so because it is a natural next step for those who feel ready.

Teacher's book

This book is in two sections. The first part describes the method, rationale and benefits of starting with the middle vowel sound for learning how CVC words and syllables work.

The breathing of reading is also described. This is not often taught but its value is paramount. The importance of the teacherís own speech and benefits of using slightly exaggerated mouth movements is another area included.

Having two-way face-to-face direct sight line communication between the teacher and all learners enables the teacher to adjust a lesson, whatever the subject, to fit all learning needs so that it is simultaneous multi-ability teaching.

Every book in this series has its own teaching notes.

The second section of the Teacher's book has lots of games and oral language activities that are not only robust and educationally rich, they are very enjoyable and need no preparation.


Teach Yourself to Read English series

Each of these books is a teacher, and provides the
beginner reader with all the elements needed for learning to read.

Parents and class teachers will be surprised at how
children are not only be highly motivated to read, but at how rapid is their progress.

Bouncy Vowels

Bouncy vowels includes y as a vowel.

The pictures have been chosen to stimulate discussions that will help develop sequential thinking, active visualisation, the imaginative expression of ideas and vocabulary expansion.

Accurate pronunciation and fluent speech are also a vital part of the teaching and learning processes inherent here.

How to use this book:

  • Say each letter sound and its word as if you are bouncing to an even beat on a trampoline – e.g.
    a a apple
    a a astronaut
    y y fly   y y try
    (pron. I I fly I I try)
  • Change your mouth shape to make the different vowel sounds. Use a mirror to see these mouth changes.
  • Make up lots of sentences in lessons spread over several weeks using the example words.

Consonants in Rhyme

The consonants in this book have been turned into a rhyme to continue the bouncy vowels idea and to encourage highly active participation by even the most reluctant of beginner readers.

Speech clarity and automatic-response phonics knowledge are focus points.

bus peg fan

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • Left to right eye-movement CVC word decoding
  • Vocabulary building and a growing word knowledge
  • Self-belief and a feeling of success every day
  • Speech clarity and confidence
  • Active listening
  • Instant and accurate recall of a previously decoded word so that it doesn't need to be decoded again.

bus peg fan is suitable as a shared and/or solo reader, as a springboard for impromptu discussions and as a vocabulary builder.

cat bag dog

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • Left-to-right eye movement CVC word decoding
  • The teacher's need to demonstrate frequently how breathing is involved in the decoding of words
  • Group and partner interactions and discussions
  • Solo-reading confidence.

This book is also particularly good for repetition as a partner and solo reader. Silent reading may start here for some children.

Is this a cat or a cot

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • Word recognition and meaning
  • Speech clarity
  • Breathing skills: how to inhale enough air to read a short sentence or question on one exhalation
  • How to float a sentence or question on that one exhalation of breath
  • The confidence and prior knowledge to be able to self-decode new words independently.

Is this a fin or a fig

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • Speech accuracy for words that look/sound similar
  • A growing lexicon of personal vocabulary words
  • Instant recognition and recall of previously studied words
  • The ability to work out a new word with confidence and accuracy using known strategies
  • Long-term word recognition and memorisation.

pond belt pram

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • Left to right word decoding accuracy
  • Blending pairs of consonants
    pr, gr, tw, nd, cr, lt, st
  • Learning to pronounce and recognise the three consonant pattern tch
  • Learning the digraphs ch and sh as initial and final sounds
  • Unusual new words: shin, arch, shoe.

Is this about kick or cake

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • the advantage of being a fussy reader to notice small and important differences in words
  • the ability to learn with pleasure, focus and persistence
  • conversations about the pictures, such as recollections of personal events triggered by the illustration, the reasons that might have led to the circumstance being portrayed, the sorts of things that could happen next, why it is funny etc.

This book continues on to more complex sounds by introducing the silent e after a consonant as in cake, the double ee and oo sounds, and the ck, sh and th digraphs. The word 'about' is also introduced.

The other day I hurt my leg ...

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • feeling the regular beat of a poem
  • knowing how to fit the irregular rhythm of word onto the regular non-stop beat by saying some syllables more quickly
  • the importance of and how to make quick page turns to avoid losing the beat
  • discussion skills when working out fair ways to take turns with a partner
  • how to use language patterns and combine unusual ideas to surprise the reader or listener.

Have you ever seen a flea jump on a knee?

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • performance opportunities for asking questions and supplying answers in rhyme for an audience
  • rhyming word recognition
  • understanding the abbreviations Q and A
  • the function and shape of the hyphen
  • the enjoyment of rhyming words and farcical ideas
  • the importance of adding vocal and facial expression to the spoken word.

Are these birds or beads?

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • identifying and using look-alike plural words
  • creating different oral answers to the same question with different people asking and on different days
  • realising that to have a good vocabulary, it is good knowing words that describe similar things
    e.g. picture, illustration, drawing.
  • the use and function of a hyphen.

One hot day I lost my hat.

This booklet presents and promotes ...

  • how to read a poem with expression and clarity
  • how to fit the stressed and unstressed rhythmic syllables into an even, regular beat
  • weather terminology
  • learning to pause for a moment at a comma
  • the functions of the exclamation mark and apostrophe
  • learning how contractions shorten two words to make one word.

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(c) All works copyright by Ellie Hallett 2019
Contact details:  ellie@readingworks.com.au