What is it about?

While the evidence for using decodable readers in instruction is mixed, teachers are called to use them as mandated by school districts. However, decodable readers are not typically relevant to culturally and linguistically diverse children. As part of an intervention I designed, this paper examines second graders co-authoring decodable readers to advance their decoding development.

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Why is it important?

The findings show that children could read more words correctly with the targeted phonics features compared to children who read decodable readers produced by a curriculum company when they can include their ideas, writing, and drawing in their own decodable readers.


Conducting the study and writing this article was a great pleasure as the intervention gave young children a voice throughout their learning as they advanced their literacy development. Because many children are required to use decodable readers in classrooms, this intervention can potentially improve children's experiences and foster an interest in reading and writing in a meaningful, relatable, and joyful way.

Amber Lawson
Michigan State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: “We Can Draw and Think About It Ourselves”: Putting Culture and Race in Phonics Reading Research, Reading Research Quarterly, November 2023, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/rrq.524.
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