PhonicsPlay comics are short (2 sides of A4), simple, silly comics that can be used to help children apply the skills that they have learned in daily phonics sessions. They follow the learning sequence from the Letters and Sounds document and feature some characters that many children will be familiar with from www.phonicsplay.co.uk alongside some brand new characters. The comics can be printed out as pdfs or simply viewed online. They should be viewable on most devices but will obviously be easier for children to read (without having to do too much zooming and scrolling) on larger screens.
When lots of children in a school are working on the same phonemes/graphemes at the same time, it can be hard to find enough decodable texts at the appropriate level. Many teachers end up writing their own (I know I did) and parents often feel that they have to buy their own but it can be both expensive and hard to figure out which books are needed as all publishers tend to tackle phonics slightly differently.
These PhonicsPlay comics are intended to be an alternative (quick and free) option that can be reached for when a specific decodable text is needed but simply can't be found.
Why are there so many comics for Phase 5b?
For this phase, I have included one comic for each grapheme (rather than grouping them together into one week's worth). It just wasn't possible to fit all the pronunciations for each grapheme for a whole week into one short comic. In addition, I consider Phase 5b to be hugely important in helping children to become confident readers. In my opinion, the more opportunities there are for rehearsing the skills and knowledge taught in this phase, the better.
How do I know which comic my child should be reading?
By far the simplest way is to ask a child's teacher what particular aspect of phonics they are working on in class each week. The whole point of decodable books is that they should reflect exactly what has been learned so far. They are only decodable if the child has previously learned all the necessary bits.
These comics are unashamedly silly (which probably won't come as a huge surprise to anyone familiar with PhonicsPlay). My main aim in writing them was to make my children smile. I hope they will prove useful and enjoyable to some other people who are in need of decodable texts. If they don't appeal to you or your children but you are still in need of decodable texts then why not create your own or get your children to write their own. See the DIY page for templates.
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