Peak Reader Curriculum

You have discovered a unique solution for the literacy needs of your child. The Peak Reader® program offers you an opportunity to raise the reading level of your child.

Our program teaches phonetic skills and learning strategies appropriate for all elementary reading programs. Each lesson plan provides step-by-step instructions allowing anyone, from classroom volunteers to reading teachers, to work with a student without preparation. Because of its accessibility, our reading curriculum fits well in any school reading group, one-to-one instruction, or community learning center.

Peak Reader® is a proactive research-based curriculum and provides structured tutoring, high-quality training and supportive supervision. It’s a solution with an unmatched success rate!

The Peak Reader® includes Level I and II or Level III curriculum, a training video, Site Coordinator Manual, stickers, and manipulatives.

The Peak Reader Level I and II is appropriate for students who need help with basic reading skills and are reading at a 1st, 2nd or early 3rd grade level.

Five basic parts to the Levels I and II

  • Phonemic Awareness

  • Phonics Instruction

  • Vocabulary

  • Fluency

  • Text Comprehension

The Peak Reader Level III is appropriate for students who are reading at a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade level.

Students learn to read strategically and gather data using the Level III curriculum.

Three basic parts to the Level III

  • Specific word analysis reading skills

  • Comprehension Skills

  • Study and Test Taking Skills

Peak Reader® Program Model

Peak Reader® is a comprehensive program containing imaginative stories, hands-on activities, games and writing exercises that allow a student to discover and understand the reading process. The program targets elementary age groups where reading success is critical to self-esteem. Adaptable and reusable, Peak Reader can be integrated any time during the school year, the school day or as an after-school program.

Warm Up!
Each lesson begins with a review of the skills and words learned during the last tutoring session. This is a great time to practice Trail Words and Peak Words.

Trail Words
Trail Words are sight words that readers need to recognize immediately, they are the most frequently used words in the English language.

Let’s Begin!
Here are strategies for reading the lesson stories with the student. All of the stories include examples of the phonetic skill that the student is studying.

Answers to questions asked of the student in the lesson appear in the margins of each lesson activities page. The answers are marked by asterisks.

Peak Words
These words help your student really learn the phonetic skill taught in the lesson.

Write This!
Reading helps your student learn to write, and writing helps your student learn to read. Each lesson has a writing exercise to help your student gain a better understanding of what he or she is reading and how to write it in his or her own words.

Try This!
Fun games and activities are another way for your student to practice learning and studying phonetic patterns.

Say This!
Say This! is the opportunity to provide the essential elements of review, praise, and reward. Positive reinforcement is a key to your student’s success.

Trail Guide
The Trail Guide provides an overview of Peak Reader’s® approach — a systematic introduction of phonics to increase phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and writing skills. It is a fun, goal-oriented curriculum designed so each tutor can individualize instruction to match their student’s needs in short one-hour sessions.

Trail Map
The Trail Map allows you to individualize lesson plans by determining the specific sounds your student has trouble recognizing. A Peak Reader® level and lesson number to the side of each word helps the tutor find and use the lesson that specifically addresses each phonetic skill. Thus, the tutor can easily focus the student on the appropriate skill.

National Strategies


Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively. Oral Vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening. Reading Vocabulary refers to words we recognize in print.

Peak Reader® builds vocabulary through the use of Trail Words and Peak Words. Trail Words are the 400 most frequently used words in the English language. Peak Words model perfect phonetic sounds. Both groups are used to enrich vocabulary and help to recognize spoken words in print and have a rudimentary knowledge of word meaning prior to reading for comprehension. Peak Reader® further enhances a student’s vocabulary through special lessons focusing on prefixes, suffixes and word families.

Text Comprehension

Text Comprehension is the essence of reading.

Peak Reader® focuses on comprehension in every lesson. The Did You Understand? section monitors basic comprehension by asking the students to recount sequence of events and analyze central themes including author purpose and intent. Post-reading activities further understanding by instructing students to create alternate endings, compare and contrast reading material, write a letter to a character in the story, or engage in story themes. Comprehension of material is also maintained by extended subject exploration in supplementary reading materials.

*Based on findings and determinations of the National Reading Panel and The Partnership for Reading.

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.

Based on the knowledge that learning is a discovery process, Peak Reader® instruction focuses on sounds and phonemes while actively involving students through guided skill activities, comprehension questions, writing exercises, and games. Peak Words, a selection of words to reinforce sound (phoneme) patterns of skill lessons, are written onto flash cards highlighting the sound-phoneme patterns. Students identify, group, and blend phonemes to strengthen word-decoding skills. Similarly, the students segment words into phonemes and delete, add, or substitute phonemes to aid in word creation and further word family recognition and spelling skills.

 Phonics Instruction

Phonics instruction helps students learn the relationships between the letters of the written language and the sounds of the spoken language.

As a phonics-based curriculum, Peak Reader® contains skill lessons identifying key phonetic components. The instruction guides the student to gain an understanding of the concrete relationships between written letters and spoken sounds. Organized in a logical fashion, Peak Reader® progresses from short vowel sounds to contractions, thus allowing students to build upon their existing foundation, while challenging them to incorporate new skills into everyday use. Peak Reader® skill activities offer opportunities to enhance a student’s understanding of letters and sounds in recognizing words, writing sentences, and reading stories.


Fluency is the ability to read orally with speed, accuracy, and proper expression.

Peak Reader® develops fluency through tutor-guided reading, repetition of reading material, and extension activities. Individual student-tutor pairs read with expression and fluency during each lesson. The Peak Book, a supplementary writing activity, focuses student attention on writing while reinforcing story components and repeating key passages. The tutor allows the student to read in many ways including to the tutor and with the tutor. Tutors help students improve reading by modeling fluency skills.