Peak Reader Curriculum

National Strategies

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.