Word Study
Including Sight Words and Vocabulary
What HAPPY Reading Has for Me

If you've ever wished for a rich supply of text at the appropriate reading levels... that focused on specific word study or phonics features... you've arrived at the right place.  Word study support is a hallmark of HAPPY Reading instructional materials, namely leveled poems and reader's theater scripts.  You can find exactly what you need to integrate with your weekly word study routine...and enhance content area learning at the same time!  If you've ever wondered whether word study is a good approach to try with your learners, keep reading!

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Permanent Articles

The Concise Science of Reading

Five Pillars of Reading--Article

Pillars 1 and 2, pages 1 through 4

Note that phonemic awareness is only one aspect of phonological awareness

Word Study, Leveled Reading and Vocabulary

Instructional Materials Library- Free Samples
Each HAPPY poem is created with word study in mind. A few focus on phonological support or content only, but the vast majority are written to align with specific word study features. If you are working with learners and are emphasizing the sound made by the letter S or the sound made by the digraph CH or the sound of long I or the spelling of compound words or the patterns made by certain Latin prefixes joining with other words (the list goes on and on), chances are great that you’ll find poems here that allow the given word study feature to shine. Each poem has a T3 page, which provides educators with suggestions for using the poems to enhance word study. Every T3 page lists ALL the words in the poem that possess the target feature. Access to free, sample poems is available to all HAPPY guests. To access the entire library, which expands monthly, you must pay to become a registered member.

Suggestions on how to use the poems to support instruction, including for word study:


Free samples of poems and scripts:


Just like our poems, every reader’s theater script has several Detail pages from which to choose; each of these pages identifies content standards by state or by the new Common Core State Standards. On each of these Detail pages, you will find a list of every word in the script that fits the targeted feature(s). We also list featured sight words, which appear at least three times in the script (or which are words that are featured concepts, easily highlighted in discussion). Access to free, sample scripts is available to all HAPPY guests. To access the entire library, which expands monthly, you must pay to become a registered member.

Suggestions on how to use the reader’s theater scripts to support instruction, including to enhance word study:


Free samples of poems and scripts:


Recommended Professional Books
There are two books related to understanding word study and leveled reading. These are located at the bottom of the Resources page. Words Their Way (new and updated in 2011) and Word Journeys are excellent resources for learning about, implementing and supporting word study instruction. For more information about vocabulary, consider the book Bringing Words to Life, also found in this section. Links to purchase these books are located at the bottom of the Resources page.

HAPPY is pleased to recommend a wide assortment of books that make great read-alouds. We know that word study, like vocabulary instruction, is most effective when it’s connected to authentic experiences for learners--- linked with their memories, their life experiences, their emotions and the books they read.

Our recommendations INCLUDE abbreviated word study tips. For example, if you were interested in reading the classic The Story of Ferdinand, you would know at the outset that it can be used effectively to instruct about FL blends, since HAPPY tells you that it features the words “Ferdinand” and “fight”, which contrast with “flag”, “flowers” and “flying”. You can emphasize these words, connected with an authentic experience, for your learners. This can be done before, during and/or after the reading. Also, if you choose to have students do a word hunt, you’ll know in advance which F and FL words they will find if they’re 100% focused.

Among our recommendations, some are classic, some new, some tried-and-true with readers and audiences. All our picture book, early chapter and easy reader picks come with some sort of instructional suggestion… usually related to word study. These descriptions are available while the books are still among our current picks. For archived descriptions, you must be a registered member.

For your convenience, you can buy books through the site by clicking on the icon for the store you wish to use. All financial transactions are handled by these reputable retailers. You may also click to find books in your nearest, local library. Shared reading among young learners gives them a dramatic advantage when it comes to becoming skilled readers. And we believe it is NEVER too late to read aloud with learners of any age. As C.S. Lewis said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty.”

Find Books at http://happyreading.org/Books.htm

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Instructional Materials Library
This includes instantly available downloads of thousands of pages of leveled poem and reader’s theater scripts. Material is written with content standards in mind AND to support literacy growth across the life span for learners in a variety of settings and circumstances. On each T3 page for each poem you’ll find suggestions for using the poem with learners, including as part of a robust word study program. The T3 page is where you’ll find all words with the target feature from that selection listed. So if students are doing a word hunt, for example, for words that are spelled with IGH, the T3, teacher’s edition, will make it easy for you to know whether they’ve found them all.

On each Detail page for each reader’s theater script, you will find a complete list of all words that fit the targeted word study feature(s). Only members have access to the full instructional materials library via the LOGIN button. Or you may register to become a member here: http://happyreading.org/Register.aspx

Members only Archive
Access to all articles and other features that have archived is available for registered members only.

HAPPY52 Tips
Members receive weekly delivery of Reading Raves and Reminders in their e-mail to help keep teaching practices sharp and student skill sharper. Some of these tips are related to word study.

Coming in late summer/early fall, this one of a kind resource will help you to connect real, high quality children’s literature with essential instructional goals. You’ll also be able to create text sets and identify books by author, illustrator, series, content area, reading level and much more.

Word study support will come to life as never before, as HAPPY brings you an IRBY (Instructional Review of Books for Youth) that looks at ways great books are also great instructional tools. The instructional tips that we provide in our recommended Books area will be more detailed for our registered members who visit the BookMine. You will be able to integrate works of literary excellence while furthering your content and word study goals.

Join at today’s low price and make your HAPPY Reading experience even more of a great value for you and your students.

Members also get HAPPY Services-- including HAPPY Primary, READ UP, WORD, HAPPY Preschool, HAPPY Transitions and Bibliotherapy-- at special pricing. Workshops for both parents and education professionals are also available at discounted pricing. Write lovebooks@happyreading.org to inquire and discuss specific needs.


Registering as a member gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’ve joined a community of educators, learners, leaders and book lovers who are all about exploring better and more effective ways to coach learners to greater success. When you are at work, HAPPY Reading will be available to work alongside you to help reach higher goals. When you’re not at work, HAPPY Reading will be working steadily to bring you more stories of excellence and creative approaches to learning that will be ready when you are. Join us.

Becoming a registered member costs just pennies a day, per student. Some people spend more than this amount on a single book that may have much more limited use. You can purchase up to three years of membership at the low, introductory price. Schools and divisions may also purchase for up to three years at this same per-license rate. And referring friends, colleagues, other schools or other divisions can lead to even greater benefits for you and for them.

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