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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 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.

The Structure of a typical sessionEdit

Book introductionEdit

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

Strategy checkEdit

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

Independent readingEdit

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 textEdit

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

Response to the textEdit

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 textEdit

"Indivuals". 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 dfee publication "Guided Reading" found at:



Further informationEdit

  • Book Bands for Guided Reading, Reading Recovery National Network, ISBN 085473564X
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