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Decodable Nonfiction Books for Beginning Readers

decodable nonfiction books

Kindergarten and First Grade readers love to read nonfiction. Many of these kiddos are emerging readers who often have trouble accessing traditional nonfiction texts. That’s why it’s important to include decodable nonfiction books in your reading instruction.

Why should I use decodable books when I’m teaching nonfiction?

In study after study, reading researchers have found the most effective way to teach reading is by teaching the code. There is no need to wait to introduce nonfiction to your youngest readers when you use decodable nonfiction.

Do decodable nonfiction books adhere to the Science of Reading?

The Science of Reading promotes direct instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Decodable nonfiction readers are designed to reinforce phonemic awareness and teach phonics. The controlled text of these books help students apply their understanding of code to connected text. The right decodable nonfiction books will also introduce new vocabulary, and expose students to new concepts.

Nonfiction books introduce readers to unfamiliar vocabulary.

What about comprehension?

The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension. Along with phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary, the Science of Reading also promotes comprehension. Decodable nonfiction text is designed to make the text accessible for emerging and struggling readers. Because the code is accessible, students have more cognitive energy available to focus on comprehension.

Nonfiction Questions on the last page of a book.
Comprehension is an important part of structured literacy.

Can I use decodable books to develop fluency?

Absolutely! Repeated readings will aid in building fluency. Repeated readings also have the added benefit of helping students recognize the targeted syllable pattern. If read frequently enough, most of the words in a given book will become sight words.

How can I use these books to support English language learners?

English language learners benefit from texts they can access independently. The use of decodable (controlled) text provides a scaffold for students new to the English language. As English language learners become familiar with the code of English, they will be able to read decodable nonfiction texts unaided. Nonfiction texts also help furnish English learners with essential vocabulary.

How can decodable nonfiction texts support my struggling readers?

What young reader doesn’t love nonfiction? Many struggling readers are also reluctant readers. Decodable nonfiction will entice those reluctant readers. When students are able to access the written word on their own by using phonics, it frees up their cognitive energy to focus on comprehension. Providing decodable nonfiction books will help your struggling readers meet with reading success too!

If you need some decodable nonfiction books to get you started, check out our nonfiction pack.


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