All sorts of texts — from poems to recipes and experiments to fables to nonfiction and historical fiction stories! The Essentials Reader is a collection of 30 phonics-controlled texts geared towards older students, particularly those who struggle with reading. This decodable reader is controlled by the concepts being taught in Essentials, so that any student moving through the Essentials units can successfully decode any word in the corresponding Essentials Reader passage.
Students will read about historical events such as the Revolutionary War and nonfiction texts about the story of chocolate. There are also texts about unusual sports that can be found around the world. The stories in the Essentials Reader allow students to engage with topics of interest while growing in confidence as a reader because they have all of the tools necessary to read the words in the text successfully — no sight words to memorize by rote, no guessing from context or pictures.
The texts build in length and difficulty as students learn more concepts in Essentials and can apply that knowledge to what they are reading in the Essentials Reader. The tools needed to decode the Reader texts are taught and practiced in all three levels in Essentials, but since it is designed primarily for struggling readers, it is most commonly used by students doing the Level A or B spelling lists and activities.
To engage students further and incorporate composition, comprehension, and handwriting activities using the Essentials Reader texts, check out the Essentials Reader Student Activity Book and the Essentials Reader Teacher's Guide.