Are you looking for free decodable books to use with your learners in the classroom or at home?
You’re in the right spot!
My experience with decodable books
I admit it. As a first grade teacher, I was in the anti-decodable books camp.
A big reason for that had to do with my misunderstanding of how children learn to read. I thought kids should use three-cueing as they read leveled books.
Now, however, I understand that students need to read decodable text so they get practice applying the phonics skills we’ve taught them.
Another reason I was anti-decodable was that I was less than impressed with the decodable books in the market. At the time (*ahem years ago), most decodable books were boring, stilted, and not something kids would want to read again and again.
Times have changed, and now you can choose from a huge variety of quality, decodable books.
I’m adding my free decodable books to the mix because I want everyone to have access to quality decodables, regardless of their budget.
At the end of this post, you’ll find the foldable, color version of each book for FREE when you join my free newsletter.
What about comprehension and decodable text?
Another reason I used to be anti-decodable was that I thought kids would read them sooo sloowwwly they wouldn’t be able to comprehend the text. (Either that, or the text was so stilted they wouldn’t be able to comprehend it no matter how fast they read it!)
It turns out that I was partly right.
When you understand the Simple View of Reading, you know that reading comprehension is the product of decoding ability AND language comprehension. Students must become proficient decoders and understand the language to become fluent. Fluency is the bridge between phonics and comprehension.
When kids are first learning to read, decoding takes a lot of mental energy. As students become more fluent, their brains are freed up for comprehension.
But that doesn’t mean that students shouldn’t make sense of the decodable text that they read!
I hired a custom illustrator for these books because I wanted the full story to be available through the pictures. (After all, an author can only include so many words when kids only know six letter sounds.)
Don’t get me wrong – students don’t need the pictures to read these books – but the pictures themselves provide opportunities for predicting, questioning, inferring, and other higher level skills.
Each book comes with a set of low and high level comprehension questions on the final page.
Just check out this flip book to see the first book in action!
What’s included in the full set?
The free books below are all you truly need to get started. But you’ll be blown away by the supplementary materials, as pictured below.
When you purchase the complete set of level 1 books with accompanying resources, you will receive:
- Each book in multiple printing formats (each includes black and white)
- A single-page lesson plan for each book with introductory activities and tips for reading the book with students
- Blending lines that give decoding practice before reading
- A cut-and-paste retelling activity so students can retell the story using the pictures
- A dictation exercise so students connect letter-sound knowledge to spelling
- Each book on a single page with just one picture; use for partner reading and assessment at the end of the week!
Free decodable books
Click on each book to get it for free! You’ll see a pop-up to enter your name and email address so the book comes right to your inbox.
You’ll also see a special offer to get the full set with supplementary materials (as described above).