Typically between 6 to 7 years old


Stage Description: in Stage 1, the child is learning the relation between letters and sounds and between print and spoken words. The child is able to read simple texts containing high frequency words and phonically regular words, and uses skills and insight to “sound out” new words. In relation to writing, the child is moving from scribbling to controlled scribbling to nonphonemic letter strings. Adults are encouraging the child to write about known words and use invented spellings to encourage beginning writing, which can be extended through assisted performance. In this stage, the main aims are to further develop children’s phonological awareness, letter-sound knowledge, and ability to manipulate phonemes and syllables (segmentation and blending). (See Stages of Development essay for more information.)


Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Alexander, P. A. (2005). The path to competence: a lifespan developmental perspective on reading. Journal of Literacy Research, 37(4), 413–436.

Appleyard, J. (1991). Becoming a reader: the experience of fiction from childhood to adulthood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Allington, R. L. (2002). What I’ve Learned about Effective Reading Instruction from a Decade of Studying Exemplary Elementary Classroom Teachers. The Phi Delta Kappan, 83(10), 740–747. Retrieved from

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Au, K. H.-P., & Raphael, T. E. (2011). The staircase curriculum: whole-school collaboration to improve literacy achievement. New England Reading Association Journal, 46(2), 1–8.

Au, K. H.-P., Raphael, T. E., & Mooney, K. C. (2008). Improving Reading Achievement in Elementary School: Guiding Change in a Time of Standards. In S. B. Wepner & D. S. Strickland (Eds.), Supervision of Reading Programs (4th ed., pp. 71–89). New York: Teachers College Press.

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Adams, M. J., Foorman, B. R., Lunberg, I., & Beeler, T. (1988). Phonemic awareness in young children: a classroom curriculum. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.

Brummitt-Yale, J. (n.d.) Phonemic Awareness vs. Phonological Awareness. Retrieved on 25 April 2015 from K12 Reader:

McGee, L. M, & Dail, A. R. (2010). Phonemic awareness instruction in preschool: research implications and lessons learned from Early Reading First. In M.C. McKenna, S. Walpole, & K. Conradi (Eds) Promoting early reading: research, resources and best practices. New York: Guilford Press.

See the Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Reading List for more recommendations ...



Bear, S., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2014). Words their way: word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction (5th edition). Essex: Pearson.

Beck, I. & Beck, M. (2013). Making sense of phonics.: the hows and whys. New York: Guilford Press.

Cunningham, P.M., & Cunningham, J.W. (1992). Making Words: Enhancing the invented spelling-decoding connection. Reading Teacher, 46, 106-115.

Gaskins, I. W., Ehri, L. C., Cress, C., O’Hara, C., & Donnelly, K. (1996). Procedures for word learning: Making discoveries about words. The Reading Teacher, 50(4). p. 312-327

Gaskins, I. W., Ehri, L. C., Cress, C., O’Hara, C. & Donnelly, K. (1997). Analysing words and making discoveries about the alphabetic system: Activities for beginning readers. Language Arts, 74(3). p. 172-184.

Hiebert, E. H. (1994). Invented spelling. In A. Purves et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of English Studies Language Arts (pp. 666-668). New York: NCTE & Scholastic, Inc.

McKay, R. & Teale, W. H. (2015). No more teaching a letter a week. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Ouellette, G., Senechal, M., & Halley, A. (2013). Guiding children’s invented spellings: a gateway in literacy learning. In The Journal of Experimental Education, 81(2), 261-270.

Moats, L.C. (2006). How spelling supports reading: And why it is more regular and predictable than you may think. American Educator, Winter, 12-24.

Palmer, J. L. & Invernizzi, M. (2015). No more phonics and spelling worksheets. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

See the Phonics, Spelling and Morphology Reading List for more recommendations ...



Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Kucan, L. (n.d.). Choosing Words to Teach. Reading Rockets. Retrieved August 30, 2014, from

Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Kucan, L. (2013). Bringing words to life: robust vocabulary instruction (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press..

Blachowicz, C., & Fisher, P. J. (2011). Best practices in vocabulary instruction revisited. In L. M. Morrow & L. B. Gambrell (Eds.), Best practices in literacy instruction (4th ed., pp. 224–249). New York: Guilford Press.

Christ, T., Wang, X. C., & Chiu, M. M. (2011). Using story dictation to support young children’s vocabulary development: Outcomes and process. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1), 30–41.

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McKenna, M. (2005). Vocabulary instruction (research and best practice) [PowerPoint Presentation]. Georgia’s Reading First PD Presentations. Retrieved February 21, 2015, from

Stahl, K. A. & Stahl, S. A. (2012). Young word wizards!: fostering vocabulary development in preschool and primary education. In E. J. Kame’enui & J. F. Baumann, Vocabulary instruction: research to practice (2nd edition). New York: Guilford Press.



Adlof, S. M., Perfetti, C. A., & Catts, H. W. (2011). Developmental changes in reading comprehension: implications for assessment and instruction. In What research has to say about reading instruction (4th ed., pp. 186 – 214). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

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Catts, H. W., Bridges, M. S., Little, T. D., & Tomblin, J. B. (2008). Reading Achievement Growth in Children With Language Impairments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 51(December), 1569–1579. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0259)

Christ, T., Wang, X. C., & Chiu, M. M. (2011). Using story dictation to support young children’s vocabulary development: Outcomes and process. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1), 30–41.

Catts, H. W., Fey, M. E., Tomblin, J. B., & Zhang, X. (2002). A Longitudinal Investigation of Reading Outcomes in Children With Language Impairments. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 45(6), 1142–1157. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/093)

Graham, S., Bollinger, A., Booth Olson, C., D’Aoust, C., MacArthur, C., Mccutcheon, D., & Olinghouse, N. (2012). Teaching elementary school students to be effective writers: A practice guide (NCEE 2012- 4058). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from wwc/publications_reviews.aspx#pubsearch.

McCarrier, A., Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2000). Interactive Writing: How Language & Literacy Come Together, K-2. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Scull, J., & Bremner, P. (2013). From conversation to oral composition Supporting Indigenous students ’ language for literacy. BABEL, 48(1), 20–29.

Shanahan, T., Collision, K., Carriere, C., Duke, N. K., Pearson, P. D., Schatschneider, C., & Torgesen, J. (2010). Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade: A practice guide (NCEE 2010-4038). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from



Hudson, R. F., Pullen, P. C., Lane, H. B., & Torgesen, J. K. (2008). The complex nature of reading fluency: a multidimensional view. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 25(1), 4–32. doi:10.1080/10573560802491208

Kuhn, M. R. and Ravinski, T.V. (2011). Best practices in fluency instruction. In L. M. Morrow & L. Gambrell (Eds.), Best practices in literacy instruction (4th ed., pp. 276-294). New York: Guilford Press.

Kuhn, M. R., & Stahl, S. A. (2003). Fluency: A review of developmental and remedial practices. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(1), 3–21. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.95.1.3

Samuels, S. J., Rasinski, T. V, & Hiebert, E. H. (2011). Eye Movements and Reading: What Teachers Need to Know. What Research Has to Say about Reading Instruction, 25–50.

Wolf, M., & Katzir-cohen, T. (2001). Reading Fluency and Its Intervention. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5(3), 37–41.



Furrer, C., & Skinner, E. (2003). Sense of relatedness as a factor in children’s academic engagement and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology.

McKenna, M. (2001). Development of reading attitudes. In L. Verhoeven & C. Snow (Eds.), Literacy and motivation: reading engagement in individuals and groups (pp. 135–158). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.



Baker, S., Gersten, R., & Keating, T. (2000). When Less May Be More: A 2-Year Longitudinal Evaluation of a Volunteer Tutoring Program Requiring Minimal Training. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(4), 494–519. doi:10.1598/RRQ.35.4.3

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