Purple Books

Listening to your child read – Purple Books 

The information here will help you to support your child in making steady progress with their reading.

In our school, children read each Read Write Inc. book at least three times in class with their partner.  Re-reading the same book helps children to become confident readers. Each time they re-read, they build their fluency/speed and comprehension.  They love reading and want to read because they can read all of the words in the book.

We set a focus for each re-read in school.  The first read focuses on reading every word accurately.  The second on reading the story more quickly.  The third read on comprehension - understanding what they read.  Then your child brings the same book home to read and enjoy with you again and again at home.  It’s ‘three with me, four at home.’ We want to make sure they enjoy reading so that they want to read.  The more they read, the faster progress they will make.

By the time the children bring the book home they should be able to read it like a storyteller - they feel confident about reading it and can’t wait to read it to you, their grandparents or even their teddy bear. They are meant to be able to read all of the words as the book is at the correct level. Please encourage them to share their enjoyment of the story with you and read it in their storyteller voice – again and again.

If they hesitate over a word, remind them to read the word using ‘Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word’. For example, this means they spot the ‘sh’, then Fred Talk and blend to read the word e.g. sh, sh-i-p, ship.  Remind your child not to use Fred Talk to read Red words but instead to stop and think. Tell them the word if needed. When they have needed to Fred talk a word or had help, encourage them to re-read the whole sentence or page, trying to recall that word this time.   If your child is needing to Fred talk most of the words, please do talk to your child’s teacher as they may need some extra support to help them in moving forward confidently.

Before reading with your child have a look at the Story Green words, the Speedy Green Words and Red Words.  These are within the book in a table.  Your child looks at these words before reading in class to ensure they are confident with the key words so can read with confidence.

So, to recap, what can you do to help at home?

  1. Listen to your child read the same Read Write Inc. Storybook again and again.
  2. Encourage them to use ’Special Friends’, ‘Fred Talk’, ‘read the word’.
  3. Read through the Story Green words, Speedy Green words and Red words listed in the book.
  4. Discuss the story and encourage their storyteller voice.

Red Words
Red Words are also known as common exception or tricky words. They occur in stories regularly (said, what, where) but have unusual letter combinations (‘ai’ in the word ‘said’ makes the sound ‘e’).  Remind your child not to use Fred Talk to read Red Words but instead to ‘stop and think’.  Tell them the word if you need to.

Red words your child will need to know for Purple Books: 






Red words from previous books (your child should be familiar with these):


















Moving On
In order to move on to Pink your child needs to recognise and speedily read (using Fred in Head) and write words the first 6 Set 2 sounds (ay, ee, igh, ow, oo, oo).  They should confidently read and write words using all Set 1 sounds including Special Friends.  They should spot these sounds in alien/nonsense words and read these confidently.

Useful Resources