What could be more fun than thinking about pups?  

We really can’t think of much.

Speaking of puppies, if you’re familiar with our book, Shifting the Balance, then you know that Chapter 6 is about finding “aligned” texts for students. Aligned texts are more than decodable (every book is technically decodable); their degree of decodability lines up with the phonics skills students need to practice. And if you’ve read Chapter 6, then you might recognize this example of a high-quality decodable text that is aligned to phonics practice with CVC words. It’s called, A Pup Can Run.  

And as teachers and school leaders like you work diligently to get your hands on texts that align to phonics instruction and will still delight children, we often find a message in our inbox from someone asking, “Where can we purchase a copy of A Pup Can Run?” and  “Is it part of a series?” and “Who is the publisher?” 

Well, we have a confession to make . . .  

When we included this example in Chapter 6, it was not a real book. We just created one page as a sample of what could  be— a sample of a text that gave high-quality decoding practice while also giving kids something to think about. 

But since people keep asking, we eventually wondered, “Why not?” Why not let the little pup actually become a little book that we could pass along on as a little gift to educators like you. 

So, that’s what we’ve done. 

And we are EXCITED to share it! 

One thing we had fun with was setting the pages up in a bit of a special way, so that children need to rely on decoding first and foremost when reading each page. A picture is there for confirmation, only when they turn the page. 

For example, the content of the first page, “A pup can run.” 

is confirmed only when you turn the page and see . . . 

. . . the running pup! 

What’s even more fun is that you can access A Pup Can Run in three different formats. 

FLIPBOOK – This version is an electronic flipbook that you can project and enjoy as a shared text. You can also share the link with children and families if they want to access the flipbook from home. Here is the link to the FLIPBOOK. 

PRINTABLE PDF-  The PDF is ready to be printed and stapled if you want children to have an actual, multi-page book. The steps are below (and don’t panic that the pages are out of order, that’s important for printing.) Here is the link to download the PRINT AND ASSEMBLE PDF version.

ONE PAGE PRINTABLE – The one-page printable with only the text provides more high-volume practice. Just print and place in a folder, binder, or sheet protector for individual students. There’s even a space for students to COLOR in a pup’s face with each successful reading.  The printable also includes A DRAW and WRITE page, designed for students to DRAW a picture and WRITE a corresponding (pup!) sentence. Here is the link to download the One-Page Printable with Draw and Write Activity. 


To make things really practical, you’ll notice the last page of the book shows you at-a-glance what High-Frequency words students will encounter when they read the text and which other spelling patterns the words in the text contain. This way, you can quickly see who’s phonics skills this decodable text aligns with. 


By studying the table above, you can see that this text will be just right for students who are working on reading closed syllable words with short vowel sounds (VC, CVC, CCVC, CVCC).  This particular text uses all five short vowel sounds, so it can be helpful with cumulative review.  We hope that makes it a great option for lots of beginning readers working hard in the full-alphabetic phase of reading. 

We’ve had fun creating what we hope is the first of many more aligned texts. And we hope you and your students will have as much fun reading, thinking, talking, and writing about pups as we have! 


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