First Grade SE Phonics and Reading Curriculum




Perfect Bound or Coil Bound binding options are available for the LAR (Language and Reading) and the SAP (Spelling and Phonics) workbooks.

The First Grade Phonics and Reading Curriculum Package includes:

  • Teacher’s Manual Set
  • Language and Reading Workbook
  • Spelling and Phonics Workbook
  • Reading Book Set
  • Resource Pack

Handwriting books follow the phonics sequence and include spelling words. Handwriting books are separate from the curriculum package. Handwriting books are available here.


    The Teacher’s Manual set includes daily lesson plans and reference material, making it ideal for homeschool programs and classroom phonics. The Teacher’s Manual lightens the load for lesson prep. Lesson objectives are clearly stated at the beginning of the lesson, so you know what is being taught at a glance. The Preparation section lists materials used in the lesson. In most lessons, no materials preparation is needed. The teaching section provides easy-to-follow teaching content with light scripting. The text from the reading books allows you to follow along with your child’s reading. 

    The manuals are printed in two parts.

    Part 1 covers lessons 1 to 85.

    Part 2 covers lessons 86 to 175. The previous edition started with Lesson 71. A printable copy of lessons 71 to 85 is available in the Resource Center on this website.

    Teacher’s Manual sample

    The Language and Reading Workbook features:

    Poetry:  The Language and Reading workbook features several original poems. Most are intended to be read to students by the teacher. Many of the poems are written using words that follow the phonics theme. Usually, a phonics follow-up activity is included with those poems. Students may be able to read some of the poems independently, especially after hearing them a few times. Poems are reprinted in the lesson plans, so students may follow along as the teacher reads. 

    Articles:  Students will read about different kinds of animals and other topics in the LAR workbook. The articles are followed up with questions or comparisons between animals. These exercises are designed to build comprehension skills and introduce content reading.

    Short stories:  Students will read short stories and answer questions in the workbook to build comprehension skills. 

    Categorizing:  Students identify categories of words, such as animals that are pets. Students will also identify synonyms, homonyms, and antonyms.

    Parts of speech:  Students will identify words as nouns or verbs, usually in the context of sentences.

    Sentence completion:  Filling in missing words in sentences is included in both workbooks. The SAP sentences are completed with spelling words. The LAR activities include other words. In addition, some activities include other concepts, such as using contractions.

    Clues and crosswords:  Students will use language and vocabulary skills to identify words.

    Book Pages:  Most books have a question-and-answer page. Most activities have two parts, a fill-in-the-oval answer section, and a sentence hunt section. Students find sentences in the reading book and fill in missing words. Students also write the page number where the sentence was found.

    Weekly assessments:  Most lesson numbers that end with 0 and 5 have an assessment page. The first part is a phonics test. The second part is tests language or reading concepts.

    Other Language concepts include:  identifying and using nouns and verbs, poetry, alphabetizing, rhyming words and sentences, suffixes (ing, ed, ly, er, est), prefixes (be-, a-), contractions, identifying and using the correct tense in sentences, vocabulary development, reading comprehension, compound words with -self and -selves, proofreading, opposites (antonyms), synonyms, homophones, syllables, solving codes, riddles, categories, vocabulary development. 

    The back cover is the Jungle Reader Game which uses language and reading concepts in games. Game ideas and rules are in the workbook and Teacher’s Manuals. In addition, a printable copy is available in the Resource Center on this website.

    Language and Reading Workbook Sample

    Spelling and Phonics Workbook

    Lessons are arranged in weeks. There are four pages of workbook activities per week. The fifth day of each week is a spelling test. The first day of each week will feature workbook activities requiring students to write each word at least once. The main objective is for students to become familiar with the words and the spelling patterns. Students do a variety of activities, such as sorting words by word characteristics such as vowel sounds, sorting rhyming words, matching pictures, alphabetizing, and unscrambling words.

    The other three lessons each week feature a variety of activities. Activities include adding and using suffixes to spelling words, proofreading, changing a letter problem, changing statements to questions or questions to statements, cloze activities (filling in missing words in sentences), embedded words (finding spelling patterns in more complex words), spelling codes, grid boxes, clues, and analogies.

    The back cover is the Spelling Mouse Game which practices spelling in games. Game ideas and rules are in the workbook and Teacher’s Manuals. In addition, a printable copy is available in the Resource Center on this website.

    The SE Reading Book Set

    The 34 Reading Books take students on an incredible reading adventure. They will soar to new heights in reading with Super Pork, the only superhero with no superpowers whatsoever! Violet, the skunk, will show students what happens If A Skunk Gets Scared. Discover a little girl’s secret in Emily Rose. Students will read a modern version of the tortoise and the hare in The Turtle and the Bunny. Finally, flower the Cow discovers a unique talent in Farmer Brown’s Cow. These are just a few of the 34 stories children will encounter in the program.

    All books feature a word list on the back of each book. The word lists allow students to practice decoding words before reading the story. The list is also the basis of some word recognition activities combined with questions from the Teacher’s Manual.

    Our phonics-based readers contain a greater variety of words than sight words readers. We incorporate as many different words as possible that fit the phonics theme (and still tell a good story). With proper phonics instruction, students can memorize a short list of words. They are learning the process of decoding words. This greatly expands the child’s reading vocabulary, especially when the child begins to generalize the decoding process.

    After this line: The First Grade Phonics and Reading Curriculum also include free online reading and spelling activities. Visit the McRuffy Playground page for the activities.

    Reading Book Sample

    The First Grade SE Resource Pack contains copy masters, word-changing cardstock sliders, and game boards. For those children who like to color, the puppet cut-outs feature characters from the stories that can be colored and made into stick puppets for creative storytelling. This activity reinforces kindergarten phonics by making lessons more fun and hands-on. A Coloring sheet copy master for each story is included.

    Resource Pack Samples