Next steps after Wild Reading Level 2

If you have finished Wild Reading Level 2, you may wonder what the next step is! Because of the time investment in writing my book Wild Learning: Practical Ideas to Bring Teaching Outdoors, as well as beginning work on my doctorate (while homeschooling too!) I have yet to write the next level of Wild Reading and do not have a projected timeline for its completion. I do have plans for a series of nature journaling and phonics, writing, and literature units.

If your child is still working on decoding and fluency, you should continue teaching the remaining phonics skills sequentially (More on that below) and building background knowledge.

If your child has taken off with reading and is reading chapter books independently and can decode almost any word they encounter, then you can focus more on phonics through the lens of spelling, writing, and building background knowledge.

Regardless of where your child’s skill level in decoding, it is important to continue to provide lots of opportunities to build background knowledge.  Background knowledge of a wide variety of topics and vocabulary is what enables us to comprehend text! If I were to read a text about the intricacies of the game strategy in basketball, I would find it very challenging despite being a great reader because I don’t have any background knowledge on the topic. There are some great studies that have been done to support this! 

 Have children read a variety of books independently. I will make suggestions for books I think they will like or would be an appropriate reading level, but I let kids choose their own independent/leisure reading.  It is also important to continue to read aloud books that are a little more advanced than they can read themselves. This is a great way to introduce classic literature, historical fiction, and new authors. Talk about the books you read together. You can also take a deeper dive into topics that children are particularly interested in! 

One way I like to encourage kids, to read outside their interests and try something new is by picking out a variety of books while at the library. I like a mix of fiction and nonfiction. For example, I might choose a book about a historical event or topic, something about science, poetry, biography, etc. I leave them out on the coffee table or even the dining room table, and they are always read! You can also do this with books you already own- rotating through your collection. Lots of field trips, enrichment classes, and time outside also build background knowledge!

There are only 24 phonics skills(25 if you review VCV syllable division) remaining to be taught after completion of Wild Reading Level 2 are listed below. You can continue the rhythm, structure, and activities of Wild Reading Level 2 to introduce these new skills. The remaining books in the Alphabet book series 2 (purchased for WR2) and series 3,  follow this progression of skills and would pair nicely together. 

Suggested progression of skills after completing (and mastering) the Level 2 Wild Reading:

  • More in-depth practice with dividing and decoding VC/V syllables (especially if you skipped over this in level 2 because it was too advanced) words like cab/in, hab/it
  • soft c 
  • soft g
  • ge/dge
  • au- august
  • aw- paw
  • oi- foil
  • oy- toy
  • -tch- catch
  • ew- dew
  • eu-feud
  • eigh – eight
  • ei- /ay/ -veil
  • ie- i before e except after c rule, long e sound like in brief
  • ei- spelled ei after c, like in receive or ceiling
  • Words with schwa-The schwa is an unstressed vowel, and it can be spelled with any vowel (this may take longer to master). Words like ago (the a is a schwa) or animal (the i is a schwa). Here is a good explanation and word list https://thriveedservices.com/the-schwa-sound/
  • 3 syllable words
  • -tion
  • -sion
  • ea bread (compare with the other sound ea makes (leaf))
  • oo- look (compare with the other sound oo makes (zoo))
  • ch-/k/ like in tech and character (compare with the other sound ch makes (chin))
  • s- /z/ (we talked about this when we introduced the high-frequency word “is”)
  • affixes

Recipe for Reading and Explode the Code (books 6-8) are two programs that follow a similar scope and sequence as Wild Reading.

I have written many writing and literature units that work well for this level as well!

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