Guided reading

Guided reading

Guided reading is a method of teaching reading to children. It forms part of the National Literacy Strategy for England and Wales and is therefore a preferred approach employed within primary schools. Guided Reading sessions involve a teacher and a group of around preferably two to four children, but may work with up to six children. The session would have a set of objectives to be taught through the course of a roughly twenty minute session. Whilst guided reading takes place with one group of children the remaining children are engaged in independent or group tasks. The idea is that the teacher is not interrupted by the other children in the class whilst focusing on one group. Guided Reading is usually a daily activity in a primary school classroom in England and involves every child in a class over the course of a week. The children are usually grouped by academic ability and reading levels.

Steps for a lessonBefore Reading-A Teacher will guide students through the book. Typically a group will complete a "picture walk." This is flipping through the book to look at pictures and talk about how the students think the story will go. Also, a teacher will introduce new vocabulary.

During Reading-The students will read independently within the group. The teacher will aide students in decoding words, figuring meaning, etc. The teacher may say "Does that word make sense in this story, keep trying, look at the beginning of the word.

After Reading-Following the reading, the teaher will question students comprehension. The group will also discuss reading strategies they used during the reading.

The Structure of a typical session

Book introduction

"Adult with group". Prepare the children, providing support through reading the title, talking about the type of book,looking at the pictures and accessing previous knowledge. Aim to give them confidence without reading the book to them. If necessary, locate difficult new words and unfamiliar concepts or names.

trategy check

"Adult with group". Review specific reading strategies that the children have been taught and remind them to use these when reading.

Independent reading

"Individuals". Children read the book at their own pace. Monitor individuals and use appropriate prompts to encourage problem-solving. Praise correct use of reading strategies.

Returning to the text

"Adult with group". Briefly talk about what has been read to check children's understanding. Praise correct use of reading strategies.

Response to the text

"Adult with group". Encourage children to respond to the book either through a short discussion where they express opinions, or through providing follow-up activities.

Re-reading guided text

"Individuals." Provide a 'familiar book' box for each group, containing texts recently used in Guided Reading. Children can re-read texts to themselves or with a partner as an independent activity to give them opportunities to develop fluency and expression and build up 'reading miles'.(taken from the following publication "Guided Reading" found at:



Further information

*Book Bands for Guided Reading, Reading Recovery National Network, ISBN 085473564X
*Collins Big Cat is an award-winning guided reading series.

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