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If you know me, you know I love decodable readers. They're so helpful when teaching kids to read. I can't get enough of them!
If you're looking for decodable texts, but don't want to break the bank, there are a number available online for free, by donation, or at a very low cost.
The decodables in this list are in a variety of digital formats (PDF, PPT, online), and are written with a variety of phonics scope and sequence progressions in mind. Hopefully you can find a controlled text that suits your needs.
Please drop me a comment if you know of any phonics books I've missed!
I'm so excited to share my own set of decodable readers with you. I have several different levels of decodables available on this site as PDFs and am writing more! At the moment most of the readers are for kiddos working on their Long Vowel sounds, as that's where my kiddo is at :) I have a few basic Short Vowel readers and am hoping to have more soon. I also programmed some text-only decodable short-story generators for beginning readers at Endless Phonics.
I'm also somewhat pathologically helpful (haha!) so let me know in the comments if there's a particular phoneme or phonics rule you'd love to see a book for. I'd love to help you out!
Core Knowledge has an amazing, 100% free Language Arts curriculum, including a decodable Student Reader series available as a free PDF when you sign up.
The Specific Learning Disabilites Association of South Australia has over 100 free and recently updated/re-illustrated decodables as PDFs on their site, following the Jolly Phonics sequence. They've recently updated their emergent readers but if you want, you can still get the old phonic books.
Short decodable books for beginning readers. My kiddo loves the cute illustrations and slapstick humor.
Starfall Academy offers a series of 15 free online phonics books. The set linked above are interactive and not downloadable, but do have the added feature that your child can click to hear the words read aloud. They also have Cut-Up-And-Take-Home versions of the same books (you'll have to scroll a bit to find them on the page. Look for the "Short Vowels" section).
This series of phonics books is a read-together (aka "shared reader") series available as PDFs. You'll read most of the text, while your child will read the larger words that fit the target phonemes they're learning. While they contain color, they have a great deal of white space and would be printable.
While not all the books on this site are free, the above is a link to a few free read-together books.
Dr. Bruce Murray (aka the ReadingGenie) hosts a webpage where teachers share Decodable Readers they've written as free Powerpoint files. Some may be suitable for printing.
The Tennessee Dept of Ed offers free, open-source curriculum materials for parents and teachers of K-2 students. This includes decodable books. Some materials may draw from the CKLA curriculum linked earlier.
Decodables written as comic strips!
A series of black-and-white printable, colorable, and highly decodable readers!
Another great series of black-and-white printable phonics books and worksheets.
Short decodable texts paired with photos for beginning readers.
These aren't books so much as collections of decodable paragraphs in printable PDF format, but still great for practice! There are several levels and options: Countdown: Level One || Blast: Level Two || HD: Level Three || Blitz: Level Four
Short decodable passages with integrated reading comprehension and handwriting activities!
Decodables from West Virginia Phonics by Jessica Pasik
Decodable books on Google Slides. Note that these are designed to be printed and collated. The first slides should sit on top and the last slides on the bottom to get the page numbers in the right order. Some of the clip art seems to be missing so you may want to insert your own.
Tan Cat and Fat Rat || Tom || Tim and Kip || Hop and Jog || Mutt and the Bug || The Red Hen || Chet and Chad || Mack the Cat || The King and Queen || The Sled Club || Kim and Flip || Brad and the Frog
A series of simple phonics books from the 1970s (out of print and now available as free PDFs) with repetitive text for practice, and the narrative driven by the illustrations. The phoneme sequence may not fit with some modern phonics programs, but if you are using a classic phonics sequence these may be perfect for you.
This link will take you to the Updated online Version that is currently available for free during COVID.
You'll have to do a bit of digging and scrolling to find all the free printable gems, but Becky has written quite a number of free decodable readers! The stories are interspersed with a fair dose of high frequency words as well.
Decodable readers that are perfect for your non-fiction lover! These are for beginning readers as picture clues may make things too predictable for more advanced readers. Also check out her Sight Word readers!
Sample versions of the FunPhonics Readers available from the author online.
A few of the books on the Storyberries free bedtime stories website are decodables!
A set of simple decodable books for beginning readers. Repeat sentence structures and "clue" type pictures may be too predictable for more advanced readers.
This website is a fabulous decodable books search engine with links to decodables of all sorts (some free, some paid). You can search by price, publisher, or number of words. It may not be online for much longer as it was acquired by a parent company. If the link is broken, try here: The Lexile Hub or here: MetaMetrics
Publishers with Free Decodable Book Samples
A few publishers offer free samples of some of their decodable books online!
All About Reading is a full synthetic phonics program available for purchase, but they also offer several decodable stories for free.
The first five are free. However, they do use some repeat sentence structures that might lead children to guess the word rather than sound it out.
Several books are available to read online for free
A few free decodable novellas for older readers!
Several decodables were at one time free, including a few books for older readers.
A free sample is available when you sign up!
You may find more free samples here: EPS - School Specialty Samples
Decodable text passages (no pictures, but still good practice!)
Temporarily Free Decodable Books
This is a list of books that were made free during the COVID pandemic in 2020. They may only be available for a limited period of time.
These beautiful and very popular decodables are available for free as online ebooks through the 2020-2021 school year.
You can purchase the collection of printable phonics books, or try the samples in the link above.
Decodable Readers, Lesson Plans, and Workbooks are all available for free for those who have paid for SPIRE curricula during COVID.
Affordable Decodable Readers
Dog on a Log is a series of nearly 100 decodable readers. Many of the stories are available at several levels: some quite short for just-starting-out readers, as well others for children able to handle slightly longer books with 300+ words. ( A few are available free here )
If you're in search of decodable books designed for older readers, then check out this series!
There is a wealth of wonderful decodable material on TeachersPayTeachers. I haven't even had a chance to dig into a fraction of it! Some samples are available free.
More Lists ($):
Online books, printables, online learning, and phonics resources. Some are free resources, others are not. I haven't reviewed all of these yet, but maybe you'll find something that helps you.
The Measured Mom Free Kindergarten Printables and Free Printable Phonics Books and List of Phonics Books || Kastner Collection || This Reading Mama: Free Printables and Learning Activities for Homeschooling - and Free Phonics Activities and Phonics Books || A Teachable Teacher Free Phonics Bundles || Homeschooling Down Under : Learning to Read Books || Stephen Parker || KindergartenConnection || Mommy Shorts: Quarantine Learning Resources || Miss Kindergarten Free At Home Learning Resources for Reading || Money Saving Mom : Free Quarantine School Resources || Spelfabet: Decodable Books list || UF Literacy Institute - Connected Texts || ThinkCentral || Mark Revis's Phonics Books || Oxford owl (requires login) || The Reading League Decodables List 2020 || Geniebooks || Free Decodable Books Rollup || IDA Ontario || FreeReading || Sound City Reading || Elemeno || Text Project || EPS - School Specialty Samples || Kastner Collection Decodables Links || Stephen Parker - Free Phonics Instructional Book for Parents || Id Ontario