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Why You Should Spend More Time Incorporating Shared Reading

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

What is Shared Reading?

Shared reading with a poem of the week is a great start to get students reading independently. Shared Reading time has a big impact, especially on your reluctant, struggling, and shy students. With shared reading you can model reading and have students follow along. A poem of the week is so much fun. It is an important reading opportunity to provide so students can read along and not feel pressure to read alone. This allows them to hear how the reading should sound and follow along. When they make mistakes it isn't known by everyone and the student can fix it and continue reading along.

What is needed?

Poems on chart paper are my favorite Shared Reading Resources but some teachers prefer Big books. Large print text is important in Shared Reading so the teacher can point to the words as they read. I will discuss how I use a Poem of the Week for Shared Reading.

Shared Reading or Poem of the Week Sample


  • Read Together 2-3 Times a day

The main activity with shared reading is reading together as a group. The teacher, or a student should point to the words as it is read. Students can learn to be the “teacher” for this activity and it helps them see the vocal to print connection. I do like to add some extra activities to this each day.

Other Daily Activities:

  • Concepts of Print

  • Sight Words

  • Phonics Skills

  • Vocabulary

  • Comprehension

After reading our Shared Poem a few times I choose to do one quick activity each day. This is easiest to do if you use the poem of the week method for your Shared Reading. If I choose to focus on sight words, I pick one or two from the poem and have the students find them. You can call on a student to find the word and point to the word and then have the class spell and say the word together. Don’t draw out Shared Reading by trying to cover a ton of skills each day. Pick a few and really make sure the kids understand them. Make them interactive by having kids point to the skill in the poem to keep them engaged. If you don't have a dedicated phonics curriculum this is a great way to incorporate important phonics skills.

Follow Up Activities

Writing Activity to go Along with Shared Reading or Poem of the Week
  • Poetry Books

  • Take Home Poetry Books

  • Read Poems Around the Room or have a Poem Chart Stand

  • Literacy Center Activities with Lessons Taught from Shared Reading

Create books and add the new poem each week. Students can read this to their parents nightly and send the book back at the end of the week for a new poem to be added. Poetry books can also be added to the classroom library or kept for individual practice at their seats. Poetry books can be created using page protectors and added to a center where students can find rhyming words, sight words, etc. I love hanging poems around the room (ones they have already practiced), allowing kids to read those poems alone or with a partner. If you have limited space, try hanging them on a shower rod and teaching the kids to flip them carefully. I also break down the activities we cover throughout the week in our Shared Reading and add them to center rotations. This gives me great focus on some word work that can become part of rotations for the week!

Here is a sample breakdown of what your additional daily activities might look like for Shared Reading. Just don’t forget to read the poem together a few times a day before doing additional activities! A pet peeve I have is asking students to read it alone. Shared reading isn’t a time for independent reading. It should be a safe place for students to read aloud as a group.

Sample Weekly Plan for Memorial Day Poem

Daily Activities to go Along with Shared Reading or Poem of the Week

FREE Poem of the Week and Daily Activities (download below)

Download PDF • 56.06MB

FREE Yearlong Lesson Plan to See What all is Included in the Yearlong Resource (download below)

Lesson Plans
Download PDF • 154KB

Don't Miss Out! Click Here to Buy Now- Easily add Shared Reading to your day next year!

All poems, daily activities, and lessons plans are provided. Just write the poem of the week on chart paper and see the magic happen!



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