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Ready to Read shared reading texts provide opportunities for explicit instruction and joyful, lively reading experiences. They combine literary qualities and memorable language beyond what the students can access for themselves initially. The shared reading texts provide a range of text types, including narrative, non-fiction, and poetry.

Text features such as rhyme and alliteration can be used to build students’ word knowledge and phonological awareness. Patterns within the text (such as rhyme and repetition) provide support for later on when students come to read the material independently.

Since 2010, the Ready to Read series has included texts that are designed to be used specifically for  shared reading. This emphasises the importance of shared reading as one of two complementary instructional approaches that lead to independence in reading and form a significant part of an effective reading programme. All students, and especially those with less experience of books, need the support of a range of approaches that scaffold learning to read.

There are two kinds of shared reading texts – big books and poem cards. They feature text and pictures that are large enough for students to see and follow during shared reading.