Decodable Readers for Kindergarten

What are decodable readers?   A decodable reader is a text where most of the words can be phonetically sounded out.  According to Reading Rockets, “ To be considered “decodable”, a text must contain at least 64% or more words with regular phonetic features.” *1  Decodable readers can be a passage, a book, or sentences.  They are usually simple texts with mostly decodable words and a few high frequency words.

picture of short vowel decodable readers

Benefits of Decodable Readers

Research has shown how important phonics is for learning to read.  Decodable readers is one way to teach this crucial skill.  Students learn how to decode words and get to practice this skill with decodable readers. 

Decodable Passages or Decodable Books for Kindergarten

Which one should you use?  A decodable passage is a short story on one page with little to no pictures.  Decodable books usually have one to two sentences per page and have pictures to support the story.   We like both, and our resource includes a passage and a book for each story.  Our decodable passages include decodable stories, decodable words and high frequency words found in the story, comprehension questions, and a small space for students to draw a picture about the story.

When to Start Using Decodable Readers

When students can identify some to most of the letters and their corresponding sounds, you can start using decodable texts.  They don’t need to know every letter in the alphabet.  As long as they know the letter and sounds that are in the text you are using, it is ok to start. 

picture of child practicing phonics activity

How to Teach Decodable Readers

Our decodable readers include detailed lesson plans on how to use them.  We recommend teaching each text for 3 days.  The first day is about learning to decode the words from the story, finding and highlighting the words in the passage, and finally reading the passage. The second day, the students reread the passage, answer the comprehension questions with teacher support, and draw a picture to match the story.  On the third day, students get the same story, but in a book format, and they read the story with teacher support.  They can then add this story to their book bag to read during independent reading time. 

Free Decodable Readers

If you are interested in our decodable readers, all of our short a texts are FREE.  Start with these.  We are confident you will like them so much, you’ll come back for the rest.  Keep reading for details on what’s included in our decodable text resources.

Decodable Readers Resources

Of course we are biased, but we think these resources are the best decodable readers for kindergarten.   There are four decodable stories for each short vowel, totaling 20 texts in all. Each story includes:

  • Detailed Lesson Plans for Days 1, 2 and 3
  • Decodable Passage with Decodable Words, High Frequency Words, Comprehension Questions, and Space to Draw a Picture
  • Decodable Word Flash Cards
  • High Frequency Word Flash Cards
  • Decodable Book


A decodable reader is a text where most of the words can be phonetically sounded out.

Absolutely.  There is a big push for phonics with the science of reading.  And decodable texts are one way to teach phonics.

This is a debatable topic, but we strongly believe in using both decodable readers, leveled readers and trade books to teach reading.  You can read, Guided Reading in Kindergarten, What Does it Look Like? to get a better understanding of teaching with leveled readers.  “Leveled texts are not meant to take the place of decodable texts in early literacy learning. Instead, they can co-exist with decodables and support reading comprehension skills through a variety of implementations.” Reading A-Z *2

Looking for Fun Phonics Activities

Check out Fantastic Phonics Activities for Kindergarten to gain more knowledge on implementing phonics lessons in your classroom.  This article includes phonics games, using an alphabet chart for letter hunts, and topics such as short and long vowels, blending cvc words, word families, and digraphs. 




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Hi, we're Jackie, LeighAnn and Jessica

We are a team of kindergarten teachers turned educational consultants.  We help teachers like you with:

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