Reading Level 1

Teaching Reading Level 1

Some children can begin learning pre-reading skills as young as two years old. If your child is learning at home, by starting early, you can go at whatever pace works for them, rather than teaching a letter a week.

Focus on one letter at a time, and once each letter is regularly recognized, move on to the next.

Use I’s (and 1’s) with lines at the top and bottom to avoid confusion with lowercase L.

The goals at this first level are for the child to be able to:

❖Name the capital letters when pointed to

❖Locate a named letter within a group of capital letters on paper or with toy letters (Where is W?)

❖Sing the Alphabet Song

❖Recognize their own first name when written with capital letters

❖Recognize and read the words “A” and “I” in texts

Phonics Level 1 Schedule

For those wishing to follow a traditional schedule, whether at home or in a preschool setting, here is a suggested timeline, along with activity pages and videos for children to watch.

Weeks 1-2: Learn the ABCs

Week 3: Letter A

Week 4: Letter B

Week 5: Letter C

Week 6: Letter D

Week 7: Letter E

Week 8: Letter F

Week 9: Letter G

Week 10: Letter H

Week 11: Letter I

Week 12: Letter J

Week 13: Letter K

Week 14: Letter L

Week 15: Letter M

Week 16: Letter N

Week 17: Letter O

Week 18: Letter P

Week 19: Letter Q

Week 20: Letter R

Week 21: Letter S

Week 22: Letter T

Week 23: Letter U

Week 24: Letter V

Week 25: Letter W

Week 26: Letter X

Week 27: Letter Y

Week 28: Letter Z

Weeks 29-30: Word A

Weeks 31-32: Word I

Weeks 33-35: Words A & I

Other Activities:

Read a different alphabet book each week.

Tactile Alphabet

Create tactile alphabet pages for your child. Print the Capital Letter Outlines onto cardstock (preferably color) and have your child glue 3D objects onto each one (some letters are harder so may require multiple pictures of an object to glue on). Tape the pages onto your child’s bedroom or playroom wall as they are completed (masking tape generally holds well without ruining walls). Or, hang several sturdy strings with knots tied in them approximately every 10 inches and place clothespins on them.

Each day, point to the letters as you say, “A, A, A, Acorns!” as well as when you sing the alphabet song. Hold your child up so they can gently touch the item as they say the letter sound (you may want to keep these high enough that your child cannot touch them when you are not there, as “gentle touches” need a parent’s assistance.

A is for Aaron

Create a personalized alphabet book for your child entitled “(First Letter of Your Child’s Name) Is for (Child’s Name).” “M is for Mary,” “B is for Ben,” etc. Print the Capital Letter Outlines and fill each one with pictures of something personal for your child. Fill the letter of their name with pictures of them. Do the same for members of the family and a pet. Get creative with the other letters, based on your child’s interests. To make this book last longer, put the pages into plastic sleeves in a three-ring binder.

Flash Cards

Print and cut these flash cards (laminate for greater durability), and use them as a teaching tool. While flash cards often get a bad rap, if introduced properly they can be lots of fun. When children get the sound correct, they may collect the card, or place it in a special location. Some children respond to earning points (make sure they are given just the right number to be challenging without being so hard they become frustrated). As each letter is taught, add its flash card to the pile for daily review. Note that different borders are used for words and sounds, to keep them in separate piles.

All Dot Letter Pages:

All Letter Outline Pages:

All Find the Letter Pages:

You are a reader now!

Once your child has learned to recognize all the letters, it is time to start reading. This might sound intimidating, but starting early means going slow. Very slow! Together, hunt for the word “A” in your child’s books and highlight it. When you read to your child, point to the words and each time you reach “A”, say, “Look, it’s yellow. That means this is a word you know. You can read this word.” After your child successfully says, “A,” give lots of praise and say how proud you are. “You are a reader now! What a big kid!” Once your child begins to recognize lowercase a, highlight this as well. After A has been mastered, add the word “I.”