Shared reading is a powerful tool for building literacy skills and fostering a love of reading in students of all ages. While many often compare this reading technique to guided reading, the difference is that this approach involves the teacher and students reading a text together, with the goal of promoting engagement and understanding. One of the biggest USPs of shared reading is that it can be used with a variety of learners, including struggling readers, English language learners, and gifted students.
It is a versatile and effective way to support literacy development in the classroom and beyond. In today’s rapidly changing world, shared reading is more important than ever as it helps students develop the critical thinking and communication skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. Whether you are reading a classic novel, a nonfiction text, or a multimedia resource, shared reading provides a rich and engaging way for students to learn and grow. So, shared reading is a crucial aspect of education that cannot be overlooked. Below are examples of how shared reading can be practiced in the classroom and the strategies to complement these practices.
Classroom examples of shared reading
Shared reading can take many forms, and can be adapted to meet the needs and abilities of students at different grade levels. Here are ten examples of shared reading in the classroom:
1. Choral reading
Involving the entire class, choral reading is a whole-group reading activity where the teacher reads a text aloud and the students repeat the words after the teacher. This can be a fun and interactive way to introduce new vocabulary and concepts to young students. For example, a first-grade teacher might use choral reading to teach sight words or phonics rules.
2. Choir group
Similar to choral reading, choir reading instead of repeating the words after the teacher, students are divided into smaller groups and each group reads a different part of the text, such as the beginning, middle, or end. This can help students develop fluency and expression. For example, a second-grade teacher might use a choir group to practice reading sentences with a different inflection.
3. Echo reading
Echo reading is more like a reading activity where the teacher reads a sentence or phrase and the students repeat the words after the teacher. This can be a helpful way to reinforce reading skills and build confidence in young readers. For example, a third-grade teacher might use echo reading to practice reading high-frequency words or sight words.
As the name suggests, rhymes are a reading activity where the teacher reads a text that contains rhyming words and the students listen to and identify the rhyming pairs. This can help students develop phonological awareness and word recognition skills. For example, a fourth-grade teacher might use rhymes to teach students about rhyme schemes and poetry.
5. Interactive read-aloud
Just like choral reading, interactive read-aloud is a whole-group reading activity where the teacher reads a text aloud and encourages the students to participate by asking questions and making predictions about the story. This can help students develop comprehension skills and a love of reading. For example, a fifth-grade teacher might use interactive read-aloud to introduce a new genre or topic.
6. Partner reading
Duo or partner reading is a classroom reading activity where students are paired with a partner and take turns reading a text aloud to each other. This can help students develop fluency and comprehension skills and provide the opportunity for peer feedback. For example, a sixth-grade teacher might use partner reading to practice reading aloud with expression.
7. Repeated reading
Repeated reading is simply an approach to learning reading, where students read a text multiple times, with the goal of increasing their fluency and reading speed. This can be done individually or as a whole group. For example, a seventh-grade teacher might use repeated reading to help students prepare for a timed reading assessment.
8. Poetry reading
Poetry reading involves students reading and discussing poems as a group. This can help students develop an appreciation for poetry and improve their reading comprehension and interpretation skills. For example, an eighth-grade teacher might use poetry reading to introduce figurative language or teach students about different poetry forms.
9. Reading response groups
Reading response groups is a reading strategy where students are divided into small groups and discuss their reactions to a text they have read. This can help students develop critical thinking and communication skills. For example, a ninth-grade teacher might use reading response groups to encourage students to analyze a character’s motivations or reflect on the themes of a novel.
10. Book clubs
Teachers start a reading or book club where students read a book on their own and then meet with a small group to discuss their thoughts and reactions. This can help students develop critical thinking and communication skills and encourage a love of reading. For example, a tenth-grade teacher might use book clubs to develop a list of discussion questions or prompts to guide the conversation. These might include questions about the characters, plot, theme, or setting of the book.
What strategies are used in shared reading?
Shared reading can be approached via a variety of the above-mentioned methods. However, using the below-mentioned strategies can help both teachers and students to achieve better results.
- Set clear goals and objectives: Teachers need to determine what they want students to learn or accomplish through shared reading, and use this to guide their lesson planning and instruction.
- Use a variety of texts: Teachers can include a range of texts in their shared reading activities, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and multimedia resources. This will help keep students engaged and expose them to different types of literature.
- Model reading skills and strategies: While reading aloud, teachers can demonstrate how to use reading skills and strategies, such as making predictions, asking questions, and making connections. This will help students understand how to apply these skills to their own reading.
- Encourage participation: Teachers can encourage students to actively participate in shared reading activities by asking and answering questions, making predictions, and sharing their thoughts and reactions.
- Provide feedback: Teachers must give students constructive feedback on their reading skills and strategies, and provide guidance on how they can improve.
- Differentiate instruction: Teachers tailoring their shared reading activities to the needs and abilities of their students by providing multiple levels of texts and adapting the activities to meet the needs of individual learners can make the activity more learner-centric.
- Incorporate technology: Teachers can use technology, such as digital texts or multimedia resources, to enhance shared reading activities and make them more engaging for students.
- Make connections to other subjects: Connect shared reading to other subjects, such as science, social studies, or math, to help students see the relevance of what they are reading and make connections to their other studies. This will help students to make reading more real-life-oriented.
In conclusion, shared reading is a vital component of any classroom literacy program. It provides an opportunity for students to engage with the text at their own level and gain exposure to more challenging material. Through shared reading, students can improve their vocabulary, comprehension skills, and confidence in reading.
Additionally, shared reading fosters a sense of community and connection among students, as they come together to enjoy a shared experience. It is also a wonderful bonding experience for families and classrooms and is an important strategy for promoting literacy and a love of literature in the classroom. Overall, shared reading is a valuable and enjoyable activity that can have lasting benefits for children’s language and literacy development.