There is joy in collective experiences. Cheering at a football game, singing along at a concert–there’s something special about a group of voices joining in unison and ringing out together.
While our classrooms might not be stadiums of 75,000 people, there is a similar joy in the the collective experience of 25 little voices ringing out with mine in shared reading.
Shared Reading was developed by New Zealand educator Don Holdaway as an interactive reading experience in which students chorally read an enlarged text, guided and supported by a teacher or other fluent reader. Holdaway (1979) describes shared reading as
“the unison situation properly controlled in a lively and meaningful spirit, [which] allows for massive individual practice by every pupil in the teaching context” (p. 129).
Shared reading is often conducted with an entire text, but it doesn’t have to be. Many children’s books contain a repeated refrain that can be used for shared reading. Teachers can chart that refrain and refer to it for shared reading when it occurs in the text. This type of text lends itself particularly well to creating that “lively and meaningful spirit” to which Holdaway refers.
These perfect-for-shared reading picture books contain repeated refrains that kids just can’t help chiming in on.
Mortimer by Robert Munsch
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
What other titles should be added to this list? Leave ’em in the comments!