Issuu is a digital publishing platform with many resources in Spanish. You can read the publications online and a large percentage are also available to download with a free account. Among the materials, there are free Spanish readers that make excellent literacy materials for language learners.
Check out our Spanish reading for kids resource page for online books, printable reading activities and activities for favorite picture books.
These free Spanish readers are textbooks published in Latin America. Governments provide the texts for use in public schools. All of the free Spanish readers listed below are intended for first grade, but can easily be used with language learners in other grades.
Using Free Spanish Readers with Language Learners
These authentic resources have many readings and activities that teachers can use to supplement their classes. The readers are intended for native speakers, so you will need to choose stories and activities with pictures and some familiar vocabulary. If you download the free Spanish readers, you can print individual pages.
Many of these books provide practice with syllables, because syllables are key in learning to read in Spanish. The Spanish workbook Aprendiendo a leer also has good practice and is available on Issuu.
In addition to the books, activities help reinforce syllable sounds. Kids can practice Spanish syllables with this printable wheel and younger children can play this printable Spanish game with syllables. Songs are also a wonderful way to practice syllables and vowels sounds. You can find my favorite Spanish vowel songs here.
The free Spanish readers below are also a wonderful source of cultural material. From poems to proverbs, children will learn about the culture of these countries.
Most of these free Spanish readers have activities in the book, or come with a separate activity book. Some of them have activities that depend on material to be cut out of a separate book. Those resources may or may not be available online, but there are plenty of activities that do not depend on having the cut-and-paste materials.
In addition to using the specific exercises with students, teachers can learn from the types of activities designed for native speakers. Some of the literacy activities will be familiar, but many are syllable-based, or geared toward spelling difficulties in Spanish.
Free Spanish Readers on Issuu
Español – Libro de lectura – Primer Grado
Español – Libro para el alumno – Primer Grado
The SEP first printed these books in 2014 to use in Mexican public schools. They updated them recently and students this school year are using the new version.
I work with students using this book when I’m in Mexico. The texts include traditional songs and rhymes, simplified for beginning readers. The illustrations are wonderful, and the kids love the stories. You can find the free Spanish reader here: Español – Libro de Lectura – Primer Grado
The student activity book has reading and language activities to go with the stories. You can find the activity book here: Español – Libro para el alumno – Primer Grado
You can find sentences strips and other recortables for the book here: Material de apoyo a la alfabetización inicial – tiras recortables
Español – Primer Grado – Lecturas
Español – Primer Grado – Actividades
The Mexican public schools used this book from 1993-2010. Students called it “el libro del perrito” because of the cover illustration, and it has short readings that are fun to use with Spanish learners. The link to this text has changed since I wrote the post, but it may be available online. I’ll update it when I find it!
This activity book accompanies the readings and again, many of the activities will help Spanish learners acquire new language. However, many of the activities use material to cut out from the book of recortables. The cut-out material may be online, but I didn’t see it on issuu. I’ll add it if I run across it. However, there are activities that do not depend on that material. Find the student activity book here: Español – Primer Grado – Actividades
Mis primeras lecturas
This is a much simpler book than the two listed above, and it does not have the visual support the others do. It is basically a silabario that presents sets of syllables consisting of consonants with each of the vowels. So, one page presents, for example, the syllables la, le, li, lo, lu and then words that use the syllables. On the facing page, there are short sentences with words containing the same sounds.
These sentences have none of the charm of the readings in SEP books, but they do give kids practice recognizing syllables in words. Of course, if children are emerging readers and learning syllables, they are not going to be able to read the sentences by themselves. However, you can read them together, with the kids identifying or reading the focus syllables in the words. You can find the book here: Mis primeras lecturas.
Lenguaje y Comunicación
These books have short readings and activities. The government of Chile provides them to public schools.
Lenguaje y comunicación 1º básico, primaria. Módulo 1
This workbook has short readings and stories with a variety of activities for each one. The stories are meant to be read aloud to emerging readers. Again, this is a text from the División de Educación General Ministerio de Educación República de Chile. Find the book here: Lenguaje y comunicación 1º básico
Lenguaje y Comunicación 1
This book is basically a silabario, with a variety of exercises. Find the book here: Lenguaje y Comunicación 1
Lenguaje y Comunicación Texto del Estudiante
This new version of the Silabario Hispanoamericano is also published in Chile. Teachers and parents will find a range of material for kids learning Spanish. Find the book here: Lenguaje y Comunicación Texto del Estudiante
Teachers and parents can use these free Spanish readers and activity books to supplement language learning in a variety of ways. For example, the exercises fit into lessons on letters, syllables and a range of vocabulary. Likewise, the stories bridge various themes. In addition, these free Spanish readers offer a cultural component that is especially valuable for children learning the language.