Reading between the lines of your child’s home reader

Starting School 08 Jul 20 By

There's more to those little picture books than you first thought.

Levelled readers are a staple in any classroom, ready to be taken home by students to help them learn and develop their literacy skills.

While we are all familiar with the purpose of a levelled reader and the routine of reading them, there are elements that make the pages of these books very different to those that you can get from the library or bookshop.

Michelle Kelly, on behalf of cloud-based digital school reading program, Wushka has shared her insights into what makes levelled home readers so unique below …

Checking off the checklist of a levelled reader

Levelled readers are carefully levelled using a number of different criteria to provide the right amount of supports and challenges for young children learning to read.

Each book provides children a progression through controlled vocabulary and picture support into longer passages and independent reading of longer books.

Giving the story a purpose, more than a beginning and end

Very early readers feature highly controlled vocabulary, limited word count, much use of high frequency words that children see over and over again, for example “Here is my … ” and then explicit picture text match to help them figure out unknown words eg “Here is my bike!”

(Image: Supplied)

Levelled readers offer more education benefits than your regular picture books.

Font Matters

In early readers fonts will also be larger, more spaced out and common to the ways that children are taught to print, for example sans serif, stick and ball a/d/b etc, regular ascenders and descenders. Sentence structure is repetitive and patterned.

(Image: Getty)

Changing the challenges on a page

As children progress up the levels they will encounter highly appealing photographs and illustrations, gradually increasing challenges in length, vocabulary, format, and story structure and fiction and non-fiction texts in a variety of genres to give them experience in dealing with different sorts of texts and books and to gain reading mileage!

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