Bug Club Phonics Decodable Readers

Build children's confidence and enjoyment at the very start of their reading journey

Bug Club Phonics decodable readers give children opportunities to practice their blending skills and consolidate their knowledge of grapheme−phoneme correspondences in the context of engaging texts.

 

  • These books can be used in a variety of contexts, such as independent reading, assessment, take-home reading, or guided reading.
  • Phonemes and graphemes are introduced systematically, enabling children to practise and build upon the phonics taught in class.
  • There are a range of characters and themes to appeal to every child.
  • With their fascinating artwork and lovable characters, these books provide a compelling mix of bright, engaging and fun fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • Each book features inside cover notes with tips and suggestions for how to share books effectively, identifying the phonic focus and possible extension activities.


 
 
  • Sequence
  • Levelling
  • Teaching Notes
  • Digital Access

Sequence

The Bug Club Phonics Decodable Readers are organized into sets with each set focusing on particular grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Simpler, more common patterns are addressed first and more complex, less frequent patterns are addressed when easier skills are mastered. This table shows what is addressed by each set. Ideally, your phonics lessons would closely match the introduction of grapheme-phoneme correspondences outlined here.

Set

Focus

Not fully decodable words (irregular words)

00

Phonemic Awareness

n/a

01

s, a, t, p

n/a

02

i, n, m, d

n/a

03

g, o, c, k

to

04

ck, e, u, r

the, no, go

05

h, b, f, ff l, ll, ss

I, into, her

06

j, v, w, x

me, be

07

y, z, zz, qu

he, my, by, she

08

ch, sh, th, ng

they

09

ai, ee, igh, oa, oo (long), oo (short)

we, are

10

ar, or, ur, ow, oi

you

11

ear, air, ure, er

all, was, give, live

12

Adjacent consonants
(cvcc, ccvc, ccvcc, cccvc, cccvcc)

said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what

13

wh, ph

oh, their, people

14

ay, a-e, eigh/ey/ei (long a)

Mr, Mrs, Ms

15

ea, e-e, ie/ey/y (long e)

looked, called, asked

16

ie, i-e, y, i (long i)

water, where

17

ow, o-e, o/oe (long o)

who, again

18

ew, ue, u-e (long o), u/oul (short oo)

thought, through

19

aw, au, al

work, laughed, because

20

ir, er, ear

Thursday, Saturday, thirteen, thirty

21

ou, oy

different, any, many

22

ere/eer, are/ear

eyes, friends

23

c, k, ck, ch

two, once

24

c(e)/c(i)/c(y), sc/st(l) se

great, clothes

25

g(e)/g(i)/g(y), dge

it’s, I’m, I’ll, I’ve

26

le, mb, kn/gn, wr

don’t, can’t, didn’t

27

tch, sh, ea, zh, (w)a, o

first, second, third

 

 

Levelling

Decodability

The Bug Club Phonics readers support children as they gain confidence and become fluent and automatic decoders. All words are decodable with the exception of a few common irregular (‘tricky’) words needed to make the text meaningful. Some books contain environmental print which is often above the reading level of the child, but you can decide whether or not to draw attention to this text.

Polysyllabic Words

Simple polysyllabic words (words with two syllables or more) are introduced from Set 5. These words are given special attention in the teaching notes. Children sometimes have problems with polysyllabic words as they have to break down the word into its component syllables, before blending each one and then combining them to read the whole word.

Plurals and 3rd Person Verbs

Simple plurals and ‘s’ forms of verbs are used from the start as they are extremely common and research indicates that they do not pose problems for most children.

Sentence Level Progression

In addition to the cumulative coverage of grapheme−phoneme correspondences, Bug Club Phonics readers gradually move from captions in the earliest books, through to simple sentences and more complex sentence structures in the later ones. There is also a carefully planned gradual increase in the number of words and the number of different words at each level. The stories themselves also become generally more sophisticated at later levels, while maintaining their appropriateness for the age group.

Teaching Notes

Each book features inside cover notes and tips on how to share books effectively, identifying the phonic focus and possible extension activities.

 

Digital Access

As curriculums across the county focus more on phonics, decodable books can support explicit phonics instruction. Our Spark Reading digital library is ready to help with 84 fully decodable books from Bug Club. Explore new search functionality that makes it quick and easy to reinforce your explicit, sequential phonics instruction.

Practice Phonics in Context!

Bug Club decodable books allow students to practice their phonics skills in context, so you can say goodbye to worksheets.

How to get started

  • Inside Spark, look for a new filter called “Decodable Books” 
  • Click on the filter to look at the scope and sequence 
  • Select the set that aligns with the phoneme/grapheme you are currently teaching
  • Select a book for whole class instruction or individual student reading and practice

Ideas for Using Decodables with Your Class

Whole Class Instruction and Individual Practice

There are multiple Bug Club decodable books for each phoneme/grapheme set, so you can use different books for whole class instruction and individual practice. 

Try this: Use a book from set seven as part of your interactive read-aloud during explicit instruction. Then use Spark to assign your class a different book from that set for independent phonics practice.

Differentiation

You can also use Bug Club decodable books in Spark to support differentiation. 

Try this: If you notice some students need extra support with earlier phonemes and graphemes, use Spark to assign books covering those skills to individuals or small groups for additional practice. You can send different books to groups and individuals depending on their needs.

Sign up for a free 30-day trial to get digital access to The Bug Club Phonics Decodable Readers today!

 
 

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