“The focus is on interaction and meaning making. Teachers read with students not to students.
The goal is for the student to lead the interactions during shared reading.”
– Karen Erickson & David Koppenhaver
What is shared reading?
Shared reading is an evidence-based instructional approach. The focus during shared reading is on the interaction and meaning making that occurs when a child and adult look at or read a book together. Shared reading would benefit any emergent reader, no matter their age and can be done individually or in small groups.
- encourages communication
- follows students’ interests
- attributes meaning to all attempts: purposeful or random
- encourages the student to touch and interact with the book
- makes connections between book and students experiences
- thinks aloud to model thought processes
- models using student’s communication system
- uses objects to sustain attention, interest and help students make connections.
Which students would benefit from shared reading?
- are interested in books but can’t yet read them independently.
- are not yet interested in reading books.
- have not yet developed intentional or symbolic means of communication.
- can read but need continued support making meaning from text.
- are emergent readers learning what reading is and how books work.
*Conventional readers continue to benefit from opportunities to engage in shared reading.
How can students benefit from shared reading?
- builds emergent literacy understandings
- builds expressive and receptive communication skills and understandings
- builds critical background knowledge
- develops concepts about print
- demonstrates how meaning is made from print
- demonstrates reading as a fun and enjoyable activity
How can we teach shared reading?
- the focus is on interaction and making meaning
- teachers read with, not to students
- the goal is for the students to lead interactions
- teachers begin by guiding students, encouraging engagement and interaction, and supporting communication
- encourage communication at ALL times
- respond to any form of communication and attribute meaning
- connect content of the book to the personal knowledge and experience of the student
- model use of student AAC systems
- select books carefully
Follow the CAR and Put the CROWD in the CAR are both approaches to structuring shared reading interactions:
Follow the C.A.R.
C.A.R. is a strategy to structure shared reading interactions.
- Lead with a COMMENT
- Stop and wait 5+ seconds
- Ask a QUESTION
- Stop and wait 5+ seconds
- RESPOND by adding more
Put the CROWD in the CAR
- Completion- leave a blank at the end of a sentence, students fill it in, typically used in books with repetitive phrases, rhyme
- Recall- questions about what just happened
- Open- Ended- questions that do not have a specific answer, “Tell me what’s happening in this picture.”
- Wh-Questions- typically focus on pictures, “What does that man have?”
- Distance- Questions that build a bridge between the book and personal experience, “There were farm animals in the book. What farm animals did you see at the farm?”
Where can I learn more?
Shared Reading Versus Guided Reading for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: What’s the Difference?
Penelope Hatch, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Marlene Cummings, MS, CCC-SLP Karen Erickson, Ph.D
Shared Reading – Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)
This module describes shared reading, a reading approach that emphasizes interaction and engagement with books. In the DLM assessment, students frequently engage in a shared reading of a text before rereading a text to respond to questions.
Online Self-Directed Module
Facilitated Module Materials for Groups