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Grade 1 and Grade 2

Reading and writing lessons for early primary school children focus on selected words and spelling patterns. There is variety in the topics and many have a rural flavour. Animals and pets feature in many texts. “My Dad is a Mechanic” is a short vignette retold by a child who helps his father with simple jobs in the workshop. “That Bad Cat, Molly” is about a naughty cat that has to go to live with grandma. Usually, the title reveals the content.

The texts use many high frequency words along with a chosen set of words with common spelling, such as ‘ai’ and ‘oa’.

In some cases, literacy items are suitable for Prep (Reception). “Reading and Writing, His Name is Nip” and “Reading and Writing, Truck and Van” are both suitable for first year at school. And there are others.

I recommend your child reads the text twice. The first reading is for decoding and the second reading is for comprehension. A learner-reader cannot be expected to decode and comprehend well on one reading. On account of teaching methods in early primary schools that are common today, many children hurry through their reading; they make mistakes; they often guess; they skip words, and this is all due to the idea given to children that reading well means reading fast. Encourage your child to slow down. Even a ruler under the line helps to guide the eye along.

Each text is followed by a number of activities. Ask your child to read the instruction aloud so you know that he or she has understood what he has to do. Some children are inclined to rush into a task and begin to make mistakes. The tasks usually increase in difficulty. Many children will not finish all the tasks in one sitting. So follow up with another reading of the text a few days later and then return to the tasks. Some children think that reading and completing activities is a memory task and your child can be reassured it is not. By saying, “Let’s check the text and see what it says,” helps a child to realize that the answer or the word is in the story.

“Reading and Writing, Alphabet Pictures” and “Reading and Writing, Early Primary School Word Wall” are free to download. The Word Wall is a list of graded sight words that can be pasted on a wall. The Alphabet Pictures is an A to Z list of sentences for beginner readers learning their alphabet.