Little Log Cottage School

3 Requirements For The Perfect Reading Curriculum


Choosing a reading curriculum can be one of the most overwhelming tasks a teacher can face.  Not only are there tons of great products to pick through, our children are also all unique in their learning styles, interests, and ability levels.

I’m often asked for advice when it comes to choosing a curriculum.  Curriculum is one of my teaching passions and I love showing others how I design the perfect curriculum for my learners.

Before we can get down to the skills and resources, we need to answer the most important question in our search for the perfect reading curriculum.  Do you know why you are teaching?  What is your teaching philosophy?

I often answer this question by focusing on the outcome.  What kind of people do I want my kids to be at the end of the year?  Do I want them to be confident in their reading?  Do I want them to LOVE books?  I want my kids to love reading and learning so much that they don’t want to stop at the end of the year.  In order to make this happen I need to design a curriculum to meet that goal.

I hope you’ll take some time to really think about what your overall reading goal is for your child before going much further into designing your reading curriculum.  The truth is you CAN design the perfect reading curriculum.  Just remember “perfect” means perfect for your child.  Not perfect for your best friend’s child, not perfect for your state standards, but perfect for your wonderfully and uniquely made child.

reading curriculum

To help in the reading curriculum design process let me give you 3 requirements to consider.

3 Requirements for the Perfect Reading Curriculum

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1. Reading Materials

In order for your child to be a fluent reader they need to practice.  Of coarse practice will be fun if they’re reading books they like.  You will need to have some books for them on their reading level.  I always use the “5 Finger Rule”.  Have your child read the first page of the book.  They will hold up a finger for each word they do not know.  If they hold up 5 or more fingers it is above their reading level.  You may have to go through quite a few books to find the right fit.  Some good books to try for beginning readers are:

Henry and Mudge

Magic Tree House

Flat Stanley

Junie B. Jones

Cam Jansen

A-Z Mysteries

Frog and Toad

Mr. Puddles and Tabby

Franny K. Stein

Ivy and Bean


2. Skills

In order to design your own reading curriculum you need to know what skills to cover.  This can easily be achieved by visiting your state standard website.  Focus on no more than three skills per book you are reading.


If you have more than one grade level you can easily combine the skills for each child.  For example:  in both second and fourth grade students are required to describe a character based on examples from the text.  Both of your students can do this on their own levels.  Your second grader will probably just list adjectives to describe the character and provide an example from the story.  Your fourth grader would do the same but would write it all out in paragraph form getting more in depth with the character’s mood, thoughts, and motivation.

Along with reading skills, be sure to include some writing and even some math!  April and I always combine three different subjects when we design our Vocabulary ELA Units.

3. Interest

This is the most important requirement and often not included in a boxed curriculum.  School should not be boring and it’s our job to make it fun for EVERY child.  There are many ways to make reading practice fun!

For example my middle child was often intimidated when it came to spelling practice.  But I knew she loved to color, stamp, and play games.  This is why I created the Short Vowel Word Work pack so she wouldn’t be anxious when it came to practicing words and she LOVED IT!


What do you think?  Not too overwhelming, right?  These are my requirements but I’m sure you’ll have some just for you!

If this looks like the reading curriculum for your child, you may like this Henry and Mudge Literacy Pack.  Just click the image below for more information!

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I linked up at Tell It To Me Tuesdays!