early emergent reading setEarly Emergent Readers

Early Emergent Readers are aspiring readers who are learning basic concepts about books. Readers at this level are developing letter knowledge, learning about one-to-one matching of spoken words to printed words, and becoming aware of punctuation.

Early Emergent readers are able to retell a simple story and make connections between the story and what they know personally. For example, if a child is reading Danny’s Toy Basket, he or she may make the connection that they both have a toy basket where toys are supposed to be put away. It’s important, when selecting books for early readers, that they can easily relate to the subject matter.

Early Emergent readers benefit from books about familiar topics that use carefully controlled text and repeated vocabulary. Illustrations are important keys to readers at this level, supporting the decoding of new words. Early Emergent readers are still building a vocabulary of high-frequency words. Having a large vocabulary of frequently used words enables reading that is more fluent and sounds like natural speaking language.

Readers at all levels benefit from reading both fiction and nonfiction/informational books. Reading nonfiction helps young students develop background knowledge, which increases their comprehension ability by enabling them to make sense of new ideas. Additionally, informational texts have the potential to motivate students to read more by tapping into their personal interests. MaryRuth Books offers many fiction and nonfiction/informational leveled readers, suggested and used by Reading Recovery® and Guided Reading educators, when teaching Early Emergent readers.

Basic Concepts of Books

  • Parts of a book: title, title page, page numbers, etc.
  • Text conveys meaning
  • Look at left page before right page
  • Read left to right across a word
  • Read left to right across a line
  • Return sweep (print continues from the end of one line to the beginning of the next)
  • Read top of the page to the bottom

Letter Knowledge

  • Recognize upper and lower case letters and their corresponding sounds
  • Develop a bank of sight words
  • Modeling one-to-one matching using the finger-point reading method

Characteristics of Texts for Early Emergent Readers

  • Assigned Guided Reading Levels A-C
  • Contain high frequency words
  • Sentences are written in a pattern
  • Clear pictures give context
  • Each page displays the print in the same place
  • Contains familiar subject matter

MaryRuth Books offers a carefully crafted selection of texts for aspiring readers. Shop our Early Emergent Reading Set online now! Titles in this collection include All About Danny, I Am Danny, and Danny’s Toy Basket. Contact MaryRuth Books for more information!


Fountas, Irene C. and Pinnell, Gay Su. Guided Reading- Good First Teaching for All Children. Heinemann, 1996.