Scott Foresman Reading Street
Weve needed this series! A secular, graded, reading anthology program that is also a complete language arts program. I have to admit that Im pretty impressed with the scope, breadth, and possibilities of this program. Considering that its from a major textbook publisher, it is surprisingly user-friendly if you take a little time to become familiar with the various components and decide which ones you want to integrate into your course at home.
Incorporating an amazing array of reading material, practically every genre is represented fiction: realistic fiction, drama, folktales, fantasy, fables, legend, tall tales, historical fiction, and poetry, and nonfiction: expository, literary nonfiction, procedural text, biography, autobiography, photo essay, and interview. Being a fan of word pictures, I have a special appreciation for the "Envision It!" feature of this series. Key concepts are depicted by graphics, often creating fun and humorous mnemonic devices. These graphics are incorporated into two handbook features the Visual Skills Handbook and the Visual Strategies Handbook a part of each text. For instance, in the 3rd grade text the Visual Skills Handbook includes depictions of authors purpose, cause/effect, classify/categorize, compare/contrast, draw conclusions, fact/opinion, generalize, main idea/details, graphic sources, literary elements, sequence, and steps in a process. The Visual Strategies Handbook includes background knowledge, important ideas, inferring, monitor/clarify, predict/set purpose, questioning, story structure, summarize, text structure, and visualize.
The hardback Reading Street Texts (two volumes in grades 2-6; five soft-backed readers in 1st grade) are the starting point. If you wanted to keep things simple, I think you could "do" the course with just these readers. At first glance, they might seem a little "busy" at least compared to some of our other reader series. But that busyness actually translates into the elements that make up a complete course. Some of the reading selections are on the inner two-thirds of each page, and the text is interspersed with both illustrations and their labels. For instance, within an article