Natural Phonics Primer

A Universal Safety Net for Literacy

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The Natural Phonics Primer is a one-stop method for beginning and remedial reading featuring 72 powerful sequential, progressive exercises for building decoding fluency (accuracy + speed), enhanced with 439 decodable sentences representing 3,123 words in running text. There are three versions:

     1. Natural Phonics Primer 6 x 9 Hardback. $20.00

     2. Natural Phonics Primer 6 x 9 Paperback. $15.00

     3. Natural Phonics Primer: Expanded Edition. 8.25 x 11 Hardback. $25.00. (Includes Teacher’s Guide). 

The central feature of the program that allows it to be a “universal safety net for literacy” is the introduction of a minimal calibrated speed for EVERY grade from kindergarten through 8th grade. This will provide four important functions:

   1. It will provide an excellent beginning phonics based reading method. 

   2. It will provide universal screening for reading difficulties at the decoding level for all ages. 

   3. It will provide remediation in the regular classroom, reducing the need for special programs for dyslexics. 

   4. It will provide good readers with the opportunity to further improve their decoding and spelling skills. 

Here is the Teacher’s Guide for teaching the Natural Phonics Primer with Blend Phonics.  Blend Phonics is also called "Sequential Phonics” or  "Cumulative Phonics. Below are links to 50 instructional videos plus an introductory video that will be helpful to both teachers and students. The 22 Review Exercises are not videoed. Notice: This Teacher’s Guide is incorporated into the Expanded Edition published on November 13, 2023. 

Here are labels for making duo-tab (3-hole) folders for the Three-Stages of the Natural Phonics Primer.

Here are the Natural Phonics Primer Exercises with 100 words per page for ease of timing. This is the same as the Expanded Edition. 

Don Potter’s Crash Course in Spelling for older students needing remediation. 

Here are some free Literacy Assessments. It is important to know how a student is reading before you can now how to remediate any reading problems, and a post test is the only way to know if the teaching has been effective. 

Here is my Shortcut to Manuscript video and the the Supporting Printed Material. Handwriting is essential because student should be able to spell with letter names and in print the words that they are learning to sound-out.

Here is my Shortcut to Cursive video with the Supporting Printed Material. This highly effective approach teaches the cursive letters in ABC order and includes every physically possible connecting stroke. Here are my Shortcut to Cursive Flashcards for building cursive decoding fluency. 

Check out Reading Boot Camp for a top flight program that features The Natural Phonics Primer. Their goal is to make strong readers, powerful thinkers, and informed decisions makers. Here is an exciting article from 2000 about the Reading Boot Camp Founder, Kathy Alfke-Simpson. 

Natural Phonics Primer 3 x 5 Alphabet Cards. Here are alphabet strips

Chart for Recording Video Viewing. Student use tally marks to record each time they watch a video.   

Here is a bird’s eye view of the entire program: NPP Stages Chart.  

Flashcards for the words in the short vowel exercises. I teach the in a fun game like format to build beginning decoding skills. These flashcards have proven VERY VALUABLE in developing the underlying sounding-out skills necessary for starting the timed fluency building. 

Here is an excellent Count Down/Up Timer

Here is my training video on the Sound-to-Symbol Associations. Here are the Supporting Power Point Slides

Students who have finished the Natural Phonics Primer can go to the next level with my Beyond Basic Phonics: English Morphology 101.  Videos for Beyond Basic Phonics

Here is a link to all the Natural Phonics Instructional Videos for this who would like to download them to a hard drive so they can be accessed offline. 

If You Really Want to Read,” A poem by Mr. Potter for the Natural Phonics Primer. 


 Instructional Videos for the Natural Phonics Primer


Stage I: (Beginning) Lift Off

 Step 1: Exercises 1-12

  Introduction (Theory Behind the Program and Detailed Introduced to the Phonovisual Charts.)

Video 1: Exercise 1:  Short -a- as in cat - All Consonant Sounds spelled with 1-letter: [p b m] w [f v] [t d n l] [s z r] j g y 

Video 2: Exercise 2: Short -e- as in bed

Video 3: Exercise 4: Short -i- as in fish

Video 4: Exercise 6: Short -o- as in top 

Video 5: Exercise 8: Short -u- as in duck

Video 6: Exercise 10c as in cap cup cop [with a, o, u],  k as in keg kid [with e, i] (key)

Video 7: Exercise 11: ck as in duck


 Step 2: Exercises 13-23  


Video 8: Exercise 13: Consonant sounds spelled with 2 or 3 letters: ct ft lb lf lk lm lp lt mp nd nt pt sk sp st

Video 9: Exercise 14: Consonant sound spelled with 2 or 3 letters + s (/s/ and /z/ sounds)

Video 10: Exercise 15: ng as in swing, nk as in pink, sh as in ship,  x as in box,  ngs as in rings,  nks as in winks

Video 11: Exercise 17: Beginning consonant sounds spelled with 2 or 3 letters: bl cl fl gl pl sc sk sl sm sn sp st sw tw  spl

Video 12: Exercise 18: Beginning consonant sounds spelled with 2 or 3 letters: br cr dr fr gr pr scr str shr tr 

Video 13: Exercise 20: qu as in queen, th as in three,  th as in this,  wh as in wheel, squ as in squint, thr as in thrill

Video 14: Exercise 21: ch as in cherry, tch as in patch

Video 15: Exercise 23: Two-Syllable Short Vowel Words


Stage II: (Intermediate) Earth Orbit

Step 3: Exercises 24-39

Video 16: Exercise 24ee as in tree,  ea as in meal,  e as in he 

Video 17: Exercise 25:  ee as in tree,  ea as in meal,  e as in he 

Video 18: Exercise 26: Long oo as in moon,  Short oo as in book 

Video 19: Exercise 27: ar as in car,   a as in pa and ma

Video 20: Exercise 28: or as in fork 

Video 21: Exercise 29: er as in her,   ir as in first,   ur as in nurse (fur)

Video 22: Exercise 30: oi as in oil,   oy as in boy

Video 23: Exercise 31: ou as in house,   ow as in cow 

Video 24: Exercise 32: au as in Paul,  aw as in draw,  all as in ball,  alt as in malt,  alk as in walk

Video 25: Exercise 34: ai as in rain,   ay as in day,   air as in chair 

Video 26: Exercise 35: ie as in pie,  y as in by,   ye as in rye,   ind as in mind,   ild as in wild 

Video 27: Exercise 36: oa in goat,  oe as in toe,  old as in gold,  old as in old,   oll as in roll,  ow as in low,  o as in so 

Video 28: Exercise 37: ew as in new, ue as in blue (blue-blew, flew-flue-flu, due-dew)

Video 29: Exercise 39: Two-Syllable and Three-Syllable Words


 Step 4: Exercises 40-50  


Video 30: Exercise 40: a_e as in cake   

Video 31: Exercise 41: a_e as in cake (continued); are in care; e_e in Eve and here 

Video 32: Exercise 42: i_e as in five and fire 

Video 33: Exercise 44: o_e as in rose and more 

Video 34: Exercise 46: u_e as in mule and cure  

Video 35: Exercise 48: -ing (ring)

Video 36: Exercise 49:  y, ies, ied as in hurry, hurries, hurried; y, ier, iest, ily as in happy, happier, happiest, happily. 

Stage III: (Advanced) Moon Landing  

Step 5: Exercises 51-59

Video 37: Exercise 51: ed: /ĕd/ as in added or rested; ed: /d/ as in filled;  ed: /t/ as jumped

Video 38: Exercise 53: er as in ladder,   le as in table 

Video 39: Exercise 55: ce, ci, cy as in ace, city, fancy 

Video 40: Exercise 56: ge gi gy dge dgi dgy as in age, magic, gym, fudge, budging, smudgy 

Video 41: Exercise 58: se, si, sy as in cheese, rising, rosy;  th, thi as in other, bathing 


Step 6: Exercises 60-72  


 Video 42: Exercise 60: Silent b, g, k t, w

Video 43: Exercise 61: Silent  gh, h, l

Video 44: Exercise 62: ph as in phone, gh as in rough 

Video 45: Exercise 65: ea as in break, head, and learn 

Video 46: Exercise 66: ie as in field,  ui as in fruit, u as in put

Video 47: Exercise 67: wa swa wor qua,   ou as in young and famous 

Video 48: Exercise 69: ci, si, ti as in special, pension or vision, station; su as in treasure, tu as in nature, xi as in anxious

Video 49: Exercise 70: -ive in active, -or as in doctor; -ance as in importance; -ence as in influence; o as in come, some 

Video 50: Exercise 72: Three-Syllable and Four-Syllable Words