Grade 1: Reading Roots

Reading Between the Lions: Reading Roots 5th Edition is a comprehensive reading program for beginning readers. It provides a strong base for students’ literacy and fosters a love for reading through systematic phonics instruction, rich literacy experiences, oral-language and vocabulary development, thematically focused writing instruction, opportunities to read decodable stories, and an interactive, web-based lesson platform.

Reading Between the Lions: Reading Roots 5th Edition combines phonics instruction, a shared story, partner practice, and independent reading in an engaging and fast-paced environment, motivating students to take on the challenging task of learning to read and encouraging their partners to join them.

Each lesson contains instruction and practice in:

phonemic awareness and phonics (FastTrack Phonics)

student story reading (Shared Story)

additional partner practice with phonics and reading (Practice with Cleo and Theo/PowerUp Partner Reading)

 writing (Adventures in Writing)

interactions with children’s literature (Story Telling and Retelling)

In addition to formal assessment that places students in the most appropriate lesson level, teachers have many opportunities t0o assess students throughout the day and collect data that can help inform classroom pacing. Teachers can monitor students for oral reading, writing, fluency, vocabulary, and can review data from students’ work in Practice with Cleo and Theo.

Every lesson is presented through a colorful, web-based environment enriched with memorable animations that tie letters to sounds, delightful puppet skits that demonstrate sound blending, colorful picture cards, and frequent games to engage students in their learning and to provide important practice and repetition of key skills. Practice with Cleo and Theo lessons provide additional hands-on practice in fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension in a web-based game environment.

Lessons contain supporting videos from the award winning PBS series, Between the Lions.

“ Trust the process. As a teacher with many years of experience and a masters in reading, I had many questions. It works!”
~Alyssa Roadman

Classroom Materials

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Web-based, interactive lessons featuring embedded videos and game-like activities
  • Teacher lesson manuals: 4 Shared Story, 2 STaR, and 1 FastTrack Phonics
  • Student materials: 8 Partner Phonics booklets
  • Forty-eight literature and informational trade books for STaR
  • Forty-four Shared Story books
  • High-quality Alphie puppet
  • Phonics-, word-, and letter-blending card sets
  • Wall posters

For information, including samples, pricing, and more, please email

For information, including samples, pricing, and more, please email

“Reading Roots Fast Track Phonics is the best way to teach children how to decode text! Can’t believe all schools aren’t SFA schools!”
~Marilyn Psencik Pope

“It’s so great to see our “Practice with Cleo and Theo” activities in action in Houston, Texas! Thank you, Beta Charter School!!!!”
~Christopher Cerf