Today I’m sharing another set of sight word readers. At the end of the post you can download four free dinosaur emergent readers.
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I’ve been teaching my four-year-old some early reading skills using the wonderful Reading the Alphabet, a preschool reading curriculum from This Reading Mama. For each lesson I’ve created an additional four emergent readers. Today I’m sharing set 22… dinosaurs!
What’s an emergent reader?
An emergent reader can be one of two things. It’s the beginning reader himself, and it’s also the books he reads. Emergent readers (the kids) know their letters and many letter sounds. They have a basic sense of story, are learning to match letters to words, and and can use beginning letters and other cues to figure out unknown words.
Emergent readers (the books) have few words per page, strong picture support, and limited vocabulary while still using natural language.
Do kids have to able to sound out words to read these emergent readers?
Beginning readers may or may not know how to sound out words. If your child struggles to put together three letter words, don’t let that stop you. Reading my printable sight word books will help him read for meaning, figure out words using context clues, and promote a love and enjoyment of reading.
Aren’t phonics readers important?
Yes, absolutely. But they shouldn’t be the first thing we use when kids are learning to read unless our children are developmentally ready for them. Reading is strained and laborious when kids have to struggle to sound out every single word. Plus, the stories are contrived; even the best phonics readers can’t use naturally flowing language when they are focused on using only words that kids can sound out.
A steady diet of emergent readers, plus hands-on word family activities eventually cracked the code for my own children. When sounding it out became doable (for my oldest two kids, close to their 5th birthdays), those phonics readers were useful and welcome (in small doses).
Is a child who isn’t sounding out words really reading?
In a limited sense. My four-year-old can read this set of books with little help. Do I call him a reader? I do when he’s in earshot. 😉 The fact that he can read the sight words and figure out other words with context and picture clues means that yes — he is truly reading. In a limited sense.
I know that until he is sounding out words easily, he’s not a fluent reader. But is he a beginning one? You bet!
Some people say that using picture cues is teaching kids to guess. I disagree. Kids are guessing if they aren’t using any clues at all. By putting everything together (beginning sound of that word, picture cue, what would make sense), kids are doing much more than guessing.
Is this how we want to kids to read for the long haul? Of course not. But when kids start to swim, do we put them in the deep end without a life preserver? Let’s support our early readers too.
Are these sight word books all beginning readers need?
No. Children also need focused attention on sounding out words. I like to teach phonics with word families, which is why I’ve created dozens of hands-on printable resources for reading with word families. We use them alongside these books. And just this week I created my first free set of word family readers. These are phonics based with some sight words thrown in so the sentences make sense. Check them out!
My four-year-old has been reading these books with me for over a year, so he’s got the basic sight words down. He even knew little, the new sight word for this set, without me teaching it to him. Could he read the word dinosaur by itself? No. But he had no hesitation when using the picture. Eat is a word he breezed right through because it just made sense.
A lot of great sight words in here to review! (the, little, is for, the, can, go) We actually haven’t officially learned the word on, but it’s easy to pick up on using grammar clues. My Four got stuck on canoe, so we looked at the beginning chunk. Together we figured out can, and he got the rest of the word from there.
This page has some tough words, like clothes and funny. We used the picture and beginning sound to figure out clothes. Funny is another word you can teach using the beginning chunk. Cover up the end of the word and help your little reader read f-u-n. My Four figured out wear using the context and first letter.
He’s also spent some time this week reading my new phonics books. It’s all about balance!
How to assemble:
(for a video tutorial, see this page)
- Cut across the horizontal center of each page.
- Insert one set of pages into the other, paying attention to the page numbers.
- Staple with a long-armed stapler.
Check out the rest of our collection!
Get all our sight word books in a single purchase!
Teach the same sight words with this simpler set.
Have you seen these freebies?
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