Shared Reading: Cocreating Meaning with Our Students

Updated: Jan 22


Shared Reading is a weekly structure that fits within the Balanced Literacy Model.

I recently had a conversation with another teacher about Shared Reading. We had a healthy discussion about the benefits of Shared Reading in the intermediate grades.

Many teachers still feel this structure should be used only in primary classrooms. What?!

Shared Reading is a time for students and teachers to co-create meaning and work through the complexities of a text together.

Sure, primary children need a HEALTHY dose of co-creating meaning within a text, but why wouldn’t intermediate students need it…and middle school… Dare I say even high school?!

As readers grow, they experience more complex texts. We have to work WITH students to process those texts.

Even as an adult, haven’t there been times when you’ve encountered a text that was tricky to read and you sought out support from someone to help you bring meaning to the text so you could figure it out? You have to visit and revisit and revisit the text. Okay…maybe that’s only me.

However, that’s why Shared Reading is so important for all students—from beginning readers to advanced readers.

Shared Reading is a structure outside of Reading Workshop in which students can revisit reading skills and strategies used by proficient readers within a text.

The teacher is there to provide support and scaffolding through the writing in order to bring meaning to the author’s words.

Shared Reading provides a place in the day to frontload what will be coming soon during Readers’ Workshop.


While revisiting a text each day for 10-15 minutes, students can practice essential reading skills and strategies, as well as, reinforce fluency, expression and word attack strategies.

During this part of literacy instruction, the teacher can intentionally provide experiences with different genres. I liked to rotate through the different types of texts so that I could be sure I provided my students with experiences within a variety of texts.

The text rotation that I have had success with is:

Week 1: Informational

Week 2: Poetry

Week 3: Reader’s Theater

Week 4: Narrative

Week 5: Visual Media (webpages, advertisements, brochures, posters, etc.)

Week 6: Biography/Autobiography

Week 7: Journal/Diary entry

Week 8: Start the rotation again

However, this is not set in stone. It’s just a guide that I use to plan my Shared Reading throughout the year.

Depending on your student needs, you may rotate a certain type of text through your rotation more often. Once you get to know your students you will able to determine what texts you need to visit more often.


Until next time...




#literacyexperiences #sharedreading

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