Today I’m sharing a set of fun and free easy readers featuring the short u sound.
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Tired of not being able to find books your beginning reader can actually read?
I don’t know about you, but I find it frustrating when trying to find truly easy beginning books for my early reader. We can comb those library shelves and find just one or two books that he can handle without getting frustrated. I can find a fair amount of phonics books, but most move at a pace he’s not ready for. And when you have to sound out every single word… yikes.
I don’t want to squash his love for reading before he’s even begun!
Starting with sight words
My preschooler has loved books since he was a toddler. When I started to teach his older brother to read using Reading the Alphabet, he wanted to learn too. I hadn’t planned on starting so soon, but he was excited about it. Reading the Alphabet is a developmentally appropriate (free!) reading curriculum for preschoolers. It focuses on sight words, letter sounds, and short vowel word families.
Soon I was creating a sight word reader collection to go along with our Reading the Alphabet lessons. With these printable books my preschooler learned concepts of print, sight words, and how to use his letter sound knowledge to figure out words he didn’t know.
Continuing with phonics
In my experience with my own children I’ve seen that they learn a small core of sight words before they are ready to sound out words. You may have noticed that your own child recognizes his name, Mom, Dad, and other familiar words before he understands how to “sound it out.”
Because of that, I’ve been creating a series of phonics books that build on the sight words we’ve learned through my sight words books. I’m thrilled with how much my four-year-old enjoys them. He can read a single book in just a couple of minutes. The bright pictures, large text, and familiar format are a winning combination.
It’s all starting to come together for him! After years in the classroom and now teaching my third child to read… that excitement never gets old!
A sample book
Every book starts like this. I always put the first new word in big bold print without a picture. Since the focus of these early readers is sounding out words, I don’t give a picture clue on that first page.
Now your child can check how he did by reading the word in a simple sentence. I try to use silly pictures whenever I can!
I also put in phonetic words from other books we’ve done. Since the short u set is the last of my long vowel phonics readers, you’ll find a lot of short vowel words mixed in.
By now you’ve noticed that these are not actually stories. My phonics books are simply words and sentences printed in a book format. Because it’s a lot more motivating to read an actual book than flash cards! If you’re looking for phonics books that tell actual stories, you might want to see my recommendations in this post.
In my sight word readers I’d have put “He dug the hole,” because I know that my little guy can figure out “hole” using the context and picture… even though he doesn’t know how to sound out words with silent e yet. But I really want to make these books about reading with phonics and known sight words, so I used the word “it” instead.
Lots of phonics practice on this page, with the words man, can, hit, and rug.
On the last page your child can practice reading all the words again without picture clues. When my Four gets stuck he peeks back in the book.
How to assemble:
- Separate the stack into each individual book. Each book consists of two pages front to back.
- Cut across the horizontal center of the pages.
- Insert the pages into each other, using the page numbers as a guide.
- Staple with a long arm stapler.
For a picture tutorial to help you put the books together, visit my post with set one.
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