Reading Workshop in the Primary Grades

Sep 10, 2010 by

In my past two blog posts, I have mentioned Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Reading.  This is a brand new yearlong curriculum for grades 3-5.  Yesterday I received an e-mail from a reader asking if there is anything for the primary grades.  I haven’t heard yet if the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project is working on publishing units of study for K-2, but I hope so!  Until they do, however, there are some wonderful materials that primary teachers can use to help them set up and implement a very effective reading workshop. 

Many teachers are familiar with Debbie Miller’s book Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades.  It is most known for its lessons on the comprehension strategies, but it also includes a good overview of what reading workshop looks like in the younger grades.  Another book that I highly recommend is Kathy Collins’ Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom. This book not only gives a general overview of reading workshop, but it also provide five actual units of study to get you started.  From there you can go on to develop additional units for your students.  Collins has another book called Reading for Real: Teaching Children to Read with Power, Intention, and Joy in K-3 Classrooms.  This book focuses on using book clubs in a primary reading workshop.  I have not read this one yet, but it looks very good.


Another resource that I recommend to all grade level teachers is this website:  You can spend hours at this site.  It includes units of study, minilessons, templates, curriculum maps, and more for literacy teachers of grades K and up.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

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