Professional Development

January 1, 2022

How to Use Decodable Passages in Guided Reading to Boost Readers

We know things are changing in literacy instruction. I’ve learned so much about the importance of phonics instruction and see the value in it. I’ve been digging into the Science of Reading and how it fits with small group instruction. One popular topic right now is using decodable passages and books in your reading small group instruction.

Decodable passages are a great resource to use in small groups to help you know what phonics skill a student has mastered or if they still need support and practice with that skill. Let’s chat about decodable passages and how to use them today on the blog!  

What is a decodable passage?

A decodable passage is a short story (usually one or two paragraphs) that focuses on a specific phonics skill. A good decodable passage will only focus on one phonics skill. The passage might focus on short a, blends, or digraphs. 

The passage shows you if a student or a group has mastered the specific phonics skill or if they need more practice and support. Decodable passages are also helpful because they are not overwhelming for students since they only focus on one specific phonics skill at a time. 

How do I use a decodable passage in small groups?

There are so many different ways you can use decodable passages! You could use a decodable passage as a quick informal assessment with your reading small group. You could use it as a pre-assessment to see if a student is able to decode words with that specific phonics skill.

A decodable passage could also be used as a post-assessment after you have taught and worked on a phonics skill for a while. 

You could also use a decodable passage after teaching a new phonics skill whole group. This will allow students more opportunities to practice the phonics skill you taught them with your support. You can read more about using a decodable text HERE.

FREE Decodable Passages for Reading Small Groups

Decodable passages are a great resource for small groups! They focus on one specific phonics skill at a time. As a teacher, you can easily see if a student still needs more practice and support or if they have mastered that phonics skill. 

Are you looking for decodable passages to use in your reading small groups? I created some for you and they are free! There are five passages with comprehension questions. Grab them HERE by joining my email list!

Looking for more decodable passages to use with your students?

I have decodable passages for CVC words, blends, digraphs, and CVCe words. There are three passages for each phonics skill. Each decodable passage has a word list to practice with, comprehension questions, and a dictation sentence.

You can get each set individually or grab the bundle to save.

Are you looking to learn more about bringing the science of reading research to your reading small groups? Join me in this FREE workshop!

I’d love to hear from you! Have you used decodable passages in your reading small groups yet? How did you use them?

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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3 Responses

  1. Hi! Thank you so much for all of your sharing! I just wanted to let you know that when I signed up to get the free decodable passages, I was sent a read aloud lesson instead. I really appreciate all of the learning about SOR that I have done from you!

    1. Hi Christie! I just checked and it looks like the email contents were wrong, but when I click on the download button, it did download the decodable passages for me. I have now edited the email to be correct! Will you try the button on your end and let me know if you download the read aloud lesson or the decodables from the email? Thank you SOOOOO much for letting me know! 🙂

  2. Thank you for these amazing decodable passages! My students are going to love them and realize that they can read and understand the stories.

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