How to use McGuffey Readers Part 2


In part one, I explained how the McGuffey readers can be used to teach reading. In this part I will give an example of how to implement a lesson. A lesson can last how ever long it takes for a child to master. When You get to words that are not just CVC words, apply the phonics rules and/or explain the word families. There are lots of free online phonics resources. I am hoping to have all of this for you in workbook form in the future. McGuffey readers were implemented by teachers, which is why they don’t have parent guidance.

mcguffey lesson


Day 1- Read the new words and the story to the child. Have the child observe the picture.

Parent: We are going to read a new story today. Here are your words. I’m going to say them and then you can. 

Child: Okay

Parent: Okay now lets look at the words closer. See the word “sly”. Remember, the “y” makes an long I sound. There are lots of words that end in y with the long I. We can continue to learn about the long I sound throughout the week. Now see the words “how” and “now” the ow makes an ow sound. And the word “far” has an AR in it, that makes the AR sound like a pirate. Lets write all your new words down so we can learn them.

Child: Okay

Day 2: Read the story to the child then have the child try to read. Then have him/her write a couple sentences from the story. Cut out the words and scramble them. Read those couple sentences slowly and have the child put the words in order.

Day 3: Have letter tiles ready (these can be made from cardboard, paper or Scrabble pieces or magnet letters). Practice spelling the words. Practice spelling other words using OW, EE, Y, AR

Parent: Let’s spell the word far. Okay, now lets turn that into car. (continue with star, bar, barn, yard…)

Child: Like this? Is this right?

ParentYes! Great job! Let’s do the word now. Turn it into how. (continue with other OW words like down, cow…) We can sound them out together if you need help.

Day 4: Have the student read the whole story by themselves. If they have problems with a word, have them sound it out. Have the child copy the whole story. Underline the words that the child is having trouble with. Write the words on index cards to make flashcards and practice.

Day 5:  Have the child read the whole story again. Have the child write a summary about the story and draw a picture. If the child can read the story fluently, its time to move on to the next lesson!










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