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Shared Storybook Reading in Literacy-Based Therapy

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Hi friend!

This post is all about the second step in the literacy-based therapy framework: Shared Reading! You may also see it referred to as shared storybook reading.

During this phase the clinician reads the story aloud to students in an interactive and engaging way using prompts, pointing to pictures, and props/visuals.

Here are some quick and easy ways to make reading interactive:

  • Use a variety of prompts to discuss story content (read this blog post for more info and ideas)

  • Answer/respond to students’ questions

  • Link student’s comments to the story (e.g. Student: “Bears are so cool!” SLP: “Bears are cool. They live in the forest and you might see one when you are camping.”)

  • Use hypothetical statements

💡More Ideas to Increase Engagement

If you are looking to shake things up and have some prep time, try incorporating some of these ideas:

  • Use felt story pieces

  • Use story visuals with velcro or tacky glue

  • Use story grammar and wh question visuals

  • Create a language mat with characters, actions, and items that link to the story

  • Use puppets

  • Use a green screen (virtual therapy)

  • Use sticky notes to cover up pictures in the story and pull them off as you read (TIP: you can also use this to ask prediction questions)

  • Have students stand and act out actions from the story

  • Use big books with a pointer

  • Use different voices for characters

  • Pair the story with real objects that can be manipulated

  • Have students choral read repetitive lines or phrases in the story (e.g. Going on a Bear Hunt, Old Lady Who Swallowed books)

I hope this was helpful! 💛

p.s. If you want even MORE ideas for making shared reading more engaging, read 10 Ways to Make Shared Book Reading More Fun!


Ukrainetz, T. A. (2006). Contextualized Language Intervention: Scaffolding Prek-12 Literacy Achievement (1st ed.). Pro Ed.


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