Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy

Guided Reading Program Grades K–6

HMH Professional Services
  • Why?
    Interactive Read Aloud


    Moving towards a Guided Reading approach in your district? Are some schools using a traditional approach while others are implementing a Balanced Literacy model? Journeys is the single solution that allows you to implement effective reading and literacy instruction across a range of instructional models.

    Leveled Readers A-Z

    Want to match readers to incrementally leveled text? Journeys provides a vast number of precisely Leveled Readers from A–Z, helping you match the right text to the right reader at the right time.

    Designed by Irene Fountas

    An eight-page Teacher Guide designed by Irene Fountas accompanies every Leveled Reader. Each Teacher Guide promotes opportunities for students to think within the text, beyond the text, and about the text.

    A Path to the Core

    Journeys takes you to a good place: 100% compliance with every Common Core State Standard.

    Explore More

    • Preview

      Take a stroll down the Path

      Preview this powerful Balanced Literacy program below.


      Learn from the experts. Watch our authors discuss the pieces, parts, and pedagogical approach of a Balanced Literacy classroom

    • Common Core
      Common Core Support

      Support for the Common Core

      Journeys Suggested Weekly Planners provide daily CCSS correlations and planning for Extending the Common Core Lessons.

      Teacher and Student Routines for use throughout the year integrate the Common Core State Standards into daily classroom instruction

      Common Core Tabs provide Professional Development Support and Weekly Common Core Correlations.

      Journeys high-quality literature, informational texts, and instructional content offer students a wealth of opportunities to learn and master the Common Core State Standards.

      Units 1–5

      • Reading selections for use after each unit offer engaging literary and informational texts, poetry, and drama
      • Activity Central provides fun ways to apply standards in Language and Listening and Speaking
      • Your Turn supports the Standards' high expectations for writing

      Unit 6

      • The final unit includes a review of Common Core State Standards taught throughout the year
    • Authors

      Meet our esteemed partners who have helped create Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy.

  • Features

    Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy provides everything teachers need to open a new world of fluency and flexibility for your young readers and writers:

    • Comprehensive Language and Literacy Guide
    • Word Study Teacher's Guide
    • Teacher Read Alouds
    • Over 100 Leveled Readers for each grade
    • Assessment
    • Ready-made options for independent and differentiated instruction

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    • For Teachers
      Comprehensive Language Literacy Guide

      Comprehensive Language and Literacy Guide

      Designed by Irene Fountas, the Comprehensive Language and Literacy Guide features an active literacy approach to build strong readers and writers.

      This outstanding resource for the Balanced Literacy or Guided Reading classroom provides a framework for a variety of genre studies and follows an easy-to-use planning guide: the Suggested Weekly Focus. The guide also includes a Leveled Reader database for selecting books for students at the appropriate instructional level.

      Like a Balanced Literacy approach, the Journeys Comprehensive Language and Literacy Guide is organized in three different contexts—Whole-Group, Small-Group, and Independent Literacy work.

      Whole-Group Lessons:

      • Introduce larger ideas and concepts to the entire class, regardless of individual reading level
      • Demonstrate teacher modeling through read alouds
      • Encourage students to share their thoughts with the larger group

      Small-Group Lessons:

      • Promote thinking within, about, and beyond the text
      • Provide opportunities to gather informal and formal assessment information by listening to students read and discuss text
      • Feature running records for each Leveled Reader


      • Include opportunities to extend skills taught in whole-group or small-group lessons
      • Provide multiple activities for each week's lessons
      • Develop good independent work skills

      Word Study Teacher’s Guide“The Word Study Teacher's Guide provides research-based, effective instructional practices in understanding words and how they work.

      Shane Templeton

      Word Study Teacher's Guide

      The Word Study Teacher's Guide:

      • Supports the Common Core's emphasis on reading and writing complex literacy and informational text
      • Meets students at their instructional level and moves them forward
      • Provides opportunities for differentiation
      • Develops general academic vocabulary
      • Assesses word knowledge
      • Encourages deeper engagement in words and text

      Eight-Page Teacher Guide

      Journeys Leveled Readers are supported by an eight-page Teacher Guide, designed by Irene Fountas, which encourages students to think deeply about the text and provides opportunities to write about their reading.

      Running Records

      Running Records

      Running Records help teachers assess a student's reading level and development of reading strategies. Teachers use running Running Records to:

      • Monitor students' use of reading strategies
      • Aid in placing students in the correct leveled text
      • Evaluate student errors (meaning, structure, and/or visual)
    • For Students

      Word Study

      Word Study exercises expose students to a wide variety of meaningful word study activities. Word sorting, synonyms and antonyms, idioms, compound words, parts of speech, and word parts are just some examples of word study topics that can be developed into independent literacy activities.

      Vocabulary in Context Cards

      Vocabulary in Context Cards contain words used in the week's literature. On the back of each card, a student-friendly explanation of the word and activities are provided to help students think about how the word can be used in various contexts.

      Retelling Cards

      Retelling Cards provide oral language support as they build comprehension. Talk About It prompts provide guidance during independent, partner, or small-group work.

      High-Frequency Word Cards

      High Frequency Word Cards offer opportunities for meaningful word practice activities.

      Ready Made Work Stations

      Ready-Made Work Stations

      Work Stations focus on Comprehension and Fluency, Writing, and Word Study and link to the week's literature and skills. Three different activities on each card provide students with multiple opportunities to practice and reinforce skills taught that week.

      Reader’s Notebook

      The Reader's Notebook is a place for students to respond to their reading and to provide evidence of their understanding. The options for what students may write are endless—letters to the class or teacher, letters to authors, lists, narratives, poems, book reviews, and journal entries. Teachers may ask them to write about something specific or leave it open for the student to choose. In the Comprehensive Language and Literacy Guide, a suggested prompt that links to the week's reading is provided on each Suggested Weekly Focus page.

      Interactive and Audio

      Interactive and Audio

      Online Interactive activities make learning fun and engaging:

      • Destination Reading®
      • Write-In Readers
      • Student eBook
      • Leveled Readers
      • Write Smart

      Student eBook Audio CD, for use at listening centers, helps improve students' listening comprehension and expand their vocabulary.

    • Assessment
      Assessment Guide

      Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy features five steps to reading success, with assessment options for:

      • Getting Started
      • Every Day
      • Every Week
      • Every Unit
      • Twice a Year

      In addition to the Running Records included for every Leveled Reader Lesson Plan, Online Running Records are included with Journeys Digital Online.

    • Differentiated Instruction

      Built-in resources in the Teacher's Edition and the Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy program provide outstanding opportunities to differentiate instruction within your Guided Reading classroom.

      Grab-and-Go Kits


      Grab-and-Go® kits put Differentiated Instruction Blackline Masters, Weekly Assessment, Parent Letters, and much more in an easy-to-use weekly folder format.

      ELL Leveled Readers

      ELL Leveled Readers

      English language learner Leveled Readers connect to the main selection's topic, vocabulary, skill, and strategy, and include audio CDs to provide models for oral reading fluency.

      Language Support Cards

      Language Support Cards

      Language Support Cards develop high-utility vocabulary and academic language background and promote oral language skills.

    • Intervention

      Journeys: A Path to Balanced Literacy resources allow you to reach all students at all levels—even struggling students requiring intervention tools.

      Write-in Readers

      Write-In Readers

      Write-In Readers keep students engaged with text and focused on comprehension. Preteach and reteach weekly core skills and vocabulary to help below-level readers access classroom instruction with consumable Write-In Reader worktexts.

      Reading Tool Kit

      Reading Tool Kit

      The Reading Tool Kit (primary grades) provides instructional routines to close the gaps in the technical domains of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and text comprehension.

      • “I Do, We Do, You Do” organization gets students involved
      • 90 Lessons in each of the five domains
      • Skills index included
      Literacy Tool Kit

      Literacy Tool Kit

      The Literacy Tool Kit (intermediate grades) provides focused, skill-based instruction perfect for individual or small-group work. Leveled books offer additional reading and skill application, and assessments evaluate the intervention effectiveness.

      • Focused instruction in key reading skills
      • Perfect for small-group or individual instruction
      • Leveled books offer additional reading and skill application
      • Assessment evaluates the effectiveness of the intervention
    • Apps

      Reading support and resources are delivered in a fun and convenient way to keep students engaged.

      HMH Readers

      HMH Readers App

      Put an entire library at your students’ fingertips! This mobile reading program features leveled nonfiction and fiction texts to reinforce reading skills, promote academic vocabulary acquisition, and improve reading fluency & comprehension in young readers in Grades K–6. The HMH Readers app provides reading support for teachers, parents and all students, whether they read on, below, or above grade level. HMH Readers features audio, highlighting, and bookmarking capabilities as well as each search and browsing by title, author, or key word.

      Download on the App Store Download from Windows Store
      Common Core Reading Assessment App

      HMH Common Core Reading Practice and Assessment App

      The HMH Reading Common Core Practice and Assessment app provides a mobile format that allows students to practice and acquire test-taking skills that will help them succeed on PARCC and SBAC* assessments, while providing teachers with real time data on student progress. Each week, two informational passages in the correct Lexile® Level band are used with a practice test that provides corrective feedback and an assessment with questions that include tech-enhanced items.

      Download on the App StoreGoogle Play
  • Resources

    Explore Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s reading and literacy resources that enhance a Balanced Literacy classroom.

    Interactive Whiteboard Lessons

    Common Core-aligned Interactive Whiteboard lessons provide fun, interesting, and hands-on learning in the areas of phonics, vocabulary strategies, grammar, text analysis, and writing skills, allowing students to immerse themselves in each lesson.

    Download Samples:

    Grade 1 (10.74MB)

    Grade 4 (4.36MB)

    Journeys Interactive Whiteboard Installation Guide (1.6MB)

    Journeys Interactive Whiteboard User Guide (195k)

    Note: Whether you are using a SMART Board®, Promethean®, or another type of interactive whiteboard device, Journeys Interactive Whiteboard Lessons are compatible and easy to use. Simply make sure you have ActivInspire® on your computer before downloading. ActivInspire can be downloaded for free online.

  • HMH Professional Services

    Our Mission Is to Advance Yours

    HMH Professional Services forges student-centered partnerships with schools and districts in the belief that all learners deserve a quality education and the opportunity for lifelong success.

    HMH Professional Services includes teachers, leaders, and technologists. Our Professional Learning Consultants become part of your team, working right beside you to build and implement professional learning plans that respect the unique needs and culture of your school or district community. Through program, practice, and technical services, we work collaboratively to unlock the full potential of every student, teacher, and leader.

    Visit us at to learn more.

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