What is Shared Reading?

Shared Reading is exactly what it sounds like. It is a time for sharing a story and reading together (as well as a time of teaching beginning reading concepts in a safe, fun environment)!  Shared reading in our kindergarten classroom may include echo reading (students echoing the words after the teacher), choral reading (students reading at the same time as the teacher), or fill in the gap reading (teacher reading the majority of the text and then pausing for students to fill in and say rhyming words or other predictable words in the story).  All of these ways of reading are ways to encourage early reading enjoyment and success with a high level of teacher support.

During shared reading, students focus on both the pictures and the text to make predictions and to generate meaning. Most shared readings begin with a 'picture walk' in which the teacher guides students through a preview of the story, asking questions to elicit words and phrases that are used in the text. The book is then read to students and predictions are checked against the text of the story. The book is revisited among several days.  Further comprehension of the story takes place through questioning and discussion of each story (the author's choice of words and the illustrator's pictures), through acting out the story, making puppets and retelling boards, reviewing elements of the story (setting, characters, problem, solution),  and putting pictures of events of the story in order.

Once students are familiar with the story, we also look more closely at the text.  We mask certain letters and go on word hunts for small high frequency words such as I, the, to, etc. We also play with the sound of the text.  Students might be asked to listen carefully to the story and be asked to round up all the rhyming words they hear or words that begin with a certain sound.  We also frequently brainstorm other words that rhyme or begin with the same sound. They may be asked to determine the number of claps (syllables) in a word or the number of parts (sounds) in a word.  Sometimes, students will need to listen carefully to a word that is stretched out and put it together to figure out the word from the story.

There are many learning opportunities during shared reading!

During Shared Reading students are learning to....

  • track print from left to right and word by word
  • predict and infer
  • enjoy and participate in reading with a high level of support
  • build a sense of story
  • expand their vocabulary
  • find letters and sounds in context
  • attend to concepts of print (spacing, capitalization, punctuation)
  • sequence the events of a story
  • focus on story elements (characters, setting, beginning, middle, end)

Additional Shared Reading/Literacy Resources

Read/Write/Sing Lessons - Our Shared Reading Lessons inside Hubbard's Cupboard!