What Is a Preprimer Reader?

A preprimer reader is a book written at a level suited to students in kindergarten and those entering the first grade. It is the easiest leveled reader and contains words from the Dolch pre-primer sight word list as well as simple text that correlates with the pictures.

The Dolch preprimer lists consists of 40 of the most often used sight words, such as “the,” “said,” “a,” “and,” “for” and “it.” Preprimer readers also contain words that children can sound out by following simple phonetic rules, such as short vowel and silent E words. After children master preprimer readers, they reach the primer level, which corresponds to the end of first grade.

Although reading levels are given grade level equivalencies, many children in kindergarten and first grade read above or below a pre-primer level. A child who cannot read at all would be considered a non-reader, while a child who is just beginning to read is considered preprimer and stays that way until he can read longer sentences and more complex words. Another way of leveling readers is through Guided Reading levels. This method breaks reading levels down more specifically. Each level corresponds with a letter of the alphabet. Guided Reading levels A through E correspond to the preprimer level.