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Decoding Words in Phonics Passages

Pre-Reading Skills

Phonics passages allow early readers to focus on decoding words. It is important to provide students with frequent opportunities to develop their skills as word decoders. Prior to a focus on decoding words, readers need to develop their pre-reading skills. 

As I mentioned in previous blog posts, rhyming is one pre-reading skill. It is widely recognized as an early indicator of reading success. In order to prepare students to decode words, they first need to have additional pre-reading skills.

Pre-reading skills include knowledge of:

  • rhyming words
  • letter names
  • letter sounds
  • beginning sounds identification in words
You can read more about the importance of rhyming here and here! You can also read this post for one of my favorite rhyming activities. It’s super easy to include in daily circle time activities!

Word Decoding

When students are decoding words, they are applying their knowledge of letter sounds when viewing written words. It is important to do this both as a practice on its own and within context. When done in context, it can be in sentences or actual texts. 

Once students have mastered their knowledge of letter sounds, you can then have them focus on applying those sounds in words. 

How to practice word decoding:

  • Show students a written word and then have them say each sound. Then students will put the sounds all together to state the word. 
  • Place letter tiles together to make a word. Again, have students state the sounds and then put them together.
  • Students can touch each letter as they say each sound.
  • Students can tap out each sound and then do one constant hand motion when stating the full word. 
Model any of these first so students can copy what you do. 

Use Phonics Passages

After students have practiced decoding words in individual words, they also need to practice in context. You can do this through the use of phonics passages. These passages should focus on getting students to decode many words. Simple sight words should also be in the sentences so that students can successfully read. 

I have created Short Vowel Phonics Passages which focus on CVC words.

In this pack, each vowel has 5 passages where students have the chance to first decode words on their own, and then within a passage. They then get the opportunity to write the same decoded words when they reply to the comprehension questions. 

A printable format is included so that each student can have their own copy. These are great to use in small group, one-on-one, or sent home for extra practice.

There is also a colorful format to project in your classroom. This works great before or after doing the printable format. If done before, you can model how to read the words and passage. You can circle the CVC words together in the story as you decode them. If done after, you can use it to review the words read. You can also then read it together as a group. 

More Phonics Passages!

You can grab the Short Vowel Phonics Passages pack here to help your early readers work on decoding.

You can also grab the growing bundle here, at a discount, which will include many different phonics concepts. This includes long vowels, blends, digraphs and much more.

Want to try out a FREE sample of the short vowel phonics passages? Click here!

I hope these are helpful to your early readers!

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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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