Empowerment through reading instruction

  • Published on November 1, 2019

Empowerment through reading instruction

The importance of reading to children every day is never far from my mind. It comes from a passion for all things literacy as well as the knowledge that reading means empowerment. Reading is the key that unlocks so much that is meaningful in today’s world.

Whether at home or in the classroom, children need to listen to stories read aloud to them every day. It should be non-negotiable and prioritised. I would also add time for independent reading of self-selected material to that non-negotiable list and, in the classroom, time for independent writing on self-chosen topics.

Listening to stories benefits children in many ways; including, but not limited to:

  • Sheer enjoyment
  • Connection with others and other ideas which leads to understanding, respect and empathy
  • Exposure to language and vocabulary which in turns develops language and vocabulary
  • Positive feelings for books as a source of pleasure and information and a stimulus for imagination and creativity
  • A model of fluent and expressive reading behaviour that can be aspired to and emulated
  • A desire to read for oneself.

Keeping in mind that reading aloud to children and making time for their independent reading are non-negotiable and occur in the classroom every day, children also require purposeful instruction in the process of reading.

While some children appear to learn easily and without effort before starting school, as my own two children did, others struggle to understand the marks on the page. Most children fall somewhere on a continuum between, benefitting from instruction along the way.

The readilearn collection of teaching resources for teachers of the first three years of school includes many to support your teaching of reading. Many resources are free, others are available for no more than a few dollars, or you can access all the resources for one low annual subscription of just A$25. (That’s about £13, €15, US$17 or CAN$22) I’m sure you’ll agree that’s great value.

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readilearn supports teachers teaching reading

Reading aloud

As part of our support for reading aloud, on the readilearn blog we regularly conduct interviews with authors and illustrators about their new books. Many of these interviews are available to download free from the Author and Illustrator Spotlights.  We also publish free lists of books on different topics for you to download; for example,

Multicultural picture books - a selection from my bookshelf

Multicultural picture books

Indigenous Australian picture books and resources - a free printable list to download

Indigenous Australian picture books

Lessons ready to teach

The readilearn collection includes numerous ready-to-teach lessons that target different skills or aspects of the reading process. Some are interactive lessons for use on your classroom interactive whiteboard. Others are printable. All are designed to support your teaching of reading skills in the context of meaningful reading. Many of the resources teach reading across the curriculum. In the lists below are just some of the readilearn resources for teaching reading. Check out the others that can be found in the reading category of literacy resources.


beginning letters and sounds, an I spy game for the interactive whiteboard

I spy something beginning with

interactive whiteboard resource for teaching initial letters and sounds

Phonics — Initial Letters and Sounds with Pictures

an interactive resource for teaching letters and sounds and phonics on the interactive whiteboard

The alphabet

children identify rhyming words - an interactive resource - develops phonological awareness for beginning readers

Find my rhyme

teaching writing with animal rhymes

Animal rhyme time

phonics syllabification
Teaching phonics and syllabification

Name games —teaching phonics, syllables and reading long words

read spell write Schuyler

Let’s read, write and spell with Schuyler

 Sight words

Five little readers and follow up activities in one folder

Busy Bees Little Readers

Goldilocks sight words 52 high-frequency words to learn in context

Goldilocks sight words

Let's play interactive sight words

Let’s Play interactive

Digital estories for shared reading

interactive who am I on the farm puzzle

On the farm Who am I?

Bullfrog's Billabong - a repetitive, cumulative story that introduces maths concepts of counting and days of the week

Bullfrog’s Billabong

the ice cream shop a digital story about buying ice creams

The Ice Cream Shop

Goldilocks and her friends the three bears estory for the interactive whiteboard

Goldilocks and her Friends the Three Bears

Covered cloze reading lessons

Using covered cloze to teach effective reading strategies

Covered Cloze — teaching effective reading strategies

teach reading strategies with this covered cloze activity, a lesson ready to use on the interactive whiteboard

Bullfrog’s Billabong — Covered cloze

The ice cream shop an original readilearn story prepared as a covered cloze activity

The Ice Cream Shop— Covered cloze

Lessons for small groups and literacy group activities

supporting beginning readers a lesson ready to teach with Bullfrog's Billabong story

Supporting beginning readers with Bullfrog’s Billabong

ladybirds reading and comprehending

Ladybird reading and comprehension activity

Instructions for making a paper plate cat face - Level 2 - Read to me

Procedures, including How to Make a Paper Plate Cat Face

Non-fiction estories

honey bees interactive

Honey Bees

Let's find out about sea turtles cover

Let’s find out about Sea Turtles

non-fiction digital non-fiction text about alpacas

Let’s find out about Alpacas

Chinese New Year celebrations

Let’s read about Chinese New Year

Supporting parents too

There are also resources you can use to help your children’s parents understand the reading process and how to support their children’s reading development.

a series of ten newsletter for distribution to parents to provide them with information about helping their child with reading

Help Your Child Read Newsletters 1–10

suggestions for maintaining reading momentum during the holidays to prevent the summer slide

21 suggestions for maintaining reading momentum during the holidays

Help your child with reading - a brochure of suggestions for parents

Help your child with reading

a exercise demonstrating the reading process to teachers and parents showing the importance of prior knowledge

How we read—an exercise for teachers and parents

I trust you will find these resources helpful to your teaching. Please let me know if you have a request for other resources not yet in the collection. Making your job easier is one of my priorities.

readilearn teaching resources for the first three years of school

Remember to check out the complete collection of

readilearn: teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.


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    I’m all for all good things education Norah, so I quite enjoy reading what you’re up to on these wonderful teaching projects. <3

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