In 1997, Congress asked the National Reading Panel to do the following four things:

  1. Review all the research available (more than 100,000 reading studies) on how children learn to read.
  2. Determine the most effective evidence-based methods for teaching children to read.
  3. Describe which methods of reading instruction are ready for use in the classroom and recommend ways of getting this information into schools.
  4. Suggest a plan for additional research in reading development and instruction (adapted from nichd.nih.gov).

Based on its thorough analysis of the research, the National Reading Panel stated in 2000 that the best approach to reading instruction addresses five key components: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Around this time, Read Naturally was developing a stronger following nationwide as teachers were seeing real results and spreading the word about our offerings. Our main program at the time, Read Naturally Masters Edition (ME), was establishing itself as the preferred choice in the industry for improving fluency and comprehension. This program also offered vocabulary support at all levels and phonemic awareness and phonics support in the lower levels and phonics series.

The National Reading Panel had identified five components as the key to unlocking literacy, and we had already successfully incorporated these five components into one user-friendly program. No wonder Read Naturally teachers were seeing such great results!

Since that time, we’ve made significant improvements to our original program, and we’ve expanded our offerings quite a bit. We’ve kept up with changes in technology, we’ve improved our professional development, and we’ve created excellent new products that focus more directly on vocabulary, phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling and more. At every turn, we’ve kept the National Reading Panel’s findings, as well as other relevant research in the industry, at the center of our work.

We recently updated our website to show exactly how Read Naturally programs address the National Reading Panel’s findings. We elaborate on each of the five components and also cite recent research on why spelling may be considered a sixth. Under each heading, we link to the detailed information we’ve compiled about each specific skill and list the Read Naturally programs that address it. If you’ve ever had questions about the five essential components of reading and the best ways to improve literacy for your students, you’ll likely find all your answers here!

Because Read Naturally products have been research-based since the beginning, they’ve stood the test of time and will continue to promote reading success in years to come. Since 1991, we’ve been committed to Better Tools, Better Readers, and Brighter Futures. If you haven’t yet given our products a try, check out our website and download free samples or request free trials of the products that interest you. You’ll be glad you did!