What is Shared Reading?

According to Edzone, Shared Reading is an interactive reading experience. Children join in the reading of a big book or other enlarged text as guided by a teacher or other experienced reader. Shared Reading is generally accomplished using an enlarged text that all children can see. Student interactivity is the distinguishing feature of Shared Reading versus Reading Aloud. Selected books must be suitable for students to join in the experience. During the reading the teacher or another reader involves the children in reading together by pointing to or sliding below each word in the text. This provides children the opportunity to participate and behave like a reader. Shared reading models the reading process and strategies used by readers. The teacher deliberately draws attention to the print and models early reading behaviors such as moving from left to right and word-by-word matching. Shared Reading creates a risk-free environment, allowing children to focus on the enjoyment of the story.

The selected book must have the possibility of multiple readings for enjoyment. Many texts used in early stages of literacy have a repeating refrain or rhyme to increase the enjoyment of reading the story over and over. The book is initially read by the teacher to model reading strategies. In subsequent readings, the children become more interactive.