• BBLine2
    Classroom Shared Book Experiences
    “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

    Emilie Buchwald

    Research shows the greatest forecaster of a child’s reading success is whether or not the child has been read to at home (Durkin, 1966; Wells, 1986).


    Classroom shared book experiences, replicate some of the profound advantages of home read aloud experiences   (Durkin, 1966; Wells, 1986).


    Through the use of large print books, poems, songs, chants, and projected books children are able to read along with the teacher and learn:



    • In English, reading and writing move left to right down the page.

    Alphabetic Principle and Phonemic Awareness

    • Letters are used to represent sounds.
    • Letter combinations are used to make words.
    • Words are put in order to make sentences.
    • The purpose of these combinations is to make meaning.

    Speech and Print

    • Speech can be turned into print and print into speech.
    • Each spoken word is represented by a written word.

    Print Carries a Message

    • Reading is more than sounding or calling out words from the page.
    • The purpose of reading is to understand what the author wants to say.

    Fluency and the Rhythm of Language

    • As the teacher, I model how reading sounds as if we are speaking to someone.

    Comprehension & Vocabulary

    • Discussion with class and partners
    • Connect stories to our own lives.
    • Practice vocabulary as constructing language
    • Practice higher level critical thinking



    Research Based Best Practices

    ·   Reading and writing are strongly entwined.  “Book Flooding” studies, with English Language Learners, demonstrated writing and reading abilities can be significantly improved through shared reading experiences, using high-interest books (Elley, 1991; Elley & Mangubhai, 1983).


    ·   Figuring out new words (decoding), in context, can be very helpful to students as they are learning about alphabetic principle.  This is an important reading strategy supported by shared reading experiences (Stahl, 2004)

    ·   Shared reading experiences provide the multiple exposures to new vocabulary that children require in order to make new vocabulary his/her own (Kamil, 2004).


    ·   Discussions in shared reading experiences allow children to use new vocabulary in creating oral language (Kamil, 2004).


    ·   Children need support as they learn to read.  Shared book experiences provide a non-threatening atmosphere in which children can take risks, enjoy their successes, and actively engage in learning (Guthrie & Humenick, 2004)


    ·   Warm, friendly conversations and the freedom to ask questions, further allows a child to build understanding of vocabulary (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000).


    ·   Shared reading experiences are one component of a balanced approach to reading.



    Durkin, D. (1966). Children who read early:  Two longitudinal studies. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Elley, W. (1991). Acquiring literacy in a second language:  The effects of book-based programs. Language Learning, 41(3), 375 - 411.

    Elley, W., & Mangubhai, F. (1983). The impact of reading on second language learning. Reading Research Quarterly, 19, 53 - 67.

    Guthrie, J. T., & Humenick, N. M. (2004). Motivating students to read:  Evidence for classroom practices that increase reading motivation and achievement. In P. McCardel & V. Chhabra (Eds.), The voice of evidence in reading research (pp. 329 - 354). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

    Kamil, M. (2004). Vocabulary and comprehension instruction:  Summary and implications of the National Reading Panel findings. In P. McCardle & V. Chhabra (Eds.), The voice of evidence in reading research (pp. 213 - 234). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). The report of the National Reading Panel:  Report of the subgroups (comprehension). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

    Stahl, S. (2004). What do we know about fluency?  Findings of the National Reading Panel. In P. McCardel & V. Chhabra (Eds.), The voice of evidence in reading research (pp. 187 - 211). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

    Wells, G. (1986). The meaning makers:  Children learning language and using language to learn. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.




    * Graphics:  Copyright.  Mardell von Solow.   All rights reserved