Beginning literacy reading materials

I would love to hear from teachers in this group on their go-to reading materials for adults at beginning literacy levels. I like the stories on the Marshall Adult Education site (, but their 0.7 GLE stories are still too challenging for a couple adults we work with. We'd like to find ways to incorporate meaningful reading practice into class, but have exhausted our resources at that level. 


I have three recommendations. One is to use language experience activities. Another is to take a look at Grass Roots Press. Thay have some very low level materials specifically for adults. The other is to take a look at the Eureka! tradebooks database. The books listed in the database are picture books and young adult literature that has been reviewed for being appropriate for adults. The books in the database are available in your local public library.

Info about language experience activities

Grass Roots Press

Eureka! tradebooks

Hope this helps.

Several years ago, while working for LDA of Minnesota, I developed a curriculum for Beginning-level, adult readers called Story by Story. This contextual phonics model includes about 100 word lists and stories for adults learning to read (approximately GLE 0.5-2.5). The order of Story by Story is aligned with Sylvia Greene's Informal Word Analysis Inventory, Levels I and II. It has been used in Minnesota successfully with both native and non-native English speakers. The stories can be modified as needed for cultural or language differences.

You may inquire about purchasing this curriculum by calling 952-582-6000. I checked LDA's website, but they are not taking online orders at this time. You can also preview 12 of the stories in interactive format at: 

<p>Almost anything of interest to adults can be made possible for them to read if you have a Parallel Text next to it, which cuts out 6% of surplus letters and changes 3% of misleading letters, apart from 36 tricky words which make up 12% of everyday reading, and ar given to beginners as such.</p><p>Experiment! - Some of yr students will read the normal spelling all right, but some will find the Paralel Text is the help they need for spelling.</p><p>Tell us how they get on.</p><p>Disadvantaged, dislexic and the forin-born ar helpd - and so ar children.</p>


I understand that you believe in simplified spelling and believe this will help learners read and spell better. However, how does taching literacy with simplified spelling help the learner read the wealth of material out there that is not written in simplified spelling? the adults whocome to our programs want to learn to read and write to improve themselves by gaining access to better jobs. I don't think that teaching with simplified spelling will help these students in the long run.



Multisensory Reading, Spelling and Penmanship is a software program based on Orton Gillingham.  I've used it successfully with quite a few struggling/beginning adult readers both as a stand alone lesson and as a supplement to tutoring with the Laubach Way to Reading series.  It's available through New Reader's Press.

Laubach:  In the Valley, City Living, Changes, People and Places; also, More Stores 1, 2, 3, and 4

Tana Reiff books

Contemporary's Reading for Adults (Levels 1-5)

Upper levels of Laubach and Contemporary's Reading for Adults would be too difficult for students at beginning literacy levels.

Jean   is a half-hour cartoon overview of reading and spelling.  Look at it all, or start at the beginning first.  - a checklist of 22 items it helps to know, with pictures  - a set of 22 lessons - topics relevant to literacy

It costs nothing to view them

I have hundreds of stories written by adult students (some are low beginning literacy) at

 Beginning Literacy stories are on the Beginning 1 link. Beware they are student written and thus contain eorrs that low level students make.

Also a large database of home remedies at