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Reading to children and independent reading at home (junior primary years 1–4)

Workshop plan


  • To support students in learning to read independently.
  • To alert parents/caregivers to the importance of reading to their children and how they might organise this in the home.
  • For students to share with parents/caregivers and teachers their knowledge, understandings, and uses of reading.
  • For teachers to learn what they might do in their own practice to build on parents'/caregivers' reading practices with their children at home.


Download an outline of the generic workshop structure.

Word icon. Generic workshop structure (Word, 32 KB)

Suggested approach

1. Whole group

Briefly describe the purpose of the session, linking it to the school community’s vision for supporting students through home–school partnerships, and go through the core contents of the session, referring to the relevant sets of key messages.

2. Small group

The lead parent reads a short story in the appropriate language to parents/caregivers. Parents/caregivers discuss their own experiences and life stories related to the text and/or their own experiences of being read to (or not) as children. The group also discusses who reads independently, both for pleasure and for practical purposes.

The lead parent and parents/caregivers share how reading to might benefit their children. A chart of ideas is constructed together. Handouts A and B could be distributed as part of this discussion.

The lead parent could possibly provide a good model (either live or recorded) of reading to a child.

The group discusses effective ways of reading to children at home. Handout C, with ideas for organisation, routines, and selecting appropriate texts, is distributed and discussed in the group, who may add their own additional ideas to the handout.

The group discusses how the school could support the parents/caregivers in reading to the children at home (for example, by supplying books written in their home language).

3. Whole group

This is a sharing session with all parents/caregivers and teachers. The lead parent (if comfortable) or the lead teacher could report about what the small groups have learned, what they wondered about, what questions they might have for the teachers and what they may wish to tell the teachers. Notes are made of this part of the session, as appropriate

When they join in as part of the whole group, teachers may be able to answer some of the questions they have on their sheet (Handout D). If appropriate, a time may be organised for further discussion and demonstrations.

Parents and teachers identify what they might try out over the next week or two and how they could get feedback about it.

Gather data

Refer back to the outline of the generic workshop structure.

Farewell and follow-up steps

Refer back to the outline of the generic workshop structure.

Word icon. Generic workshop module (Word, 41 KB)

Resource sheets

Handouts with key messages for parents/caregivers

A: Reading

Word icon. Handout A reading to children (Word, 38 KB)

B: Why reading to children is important

Word icon. Handout B reading to children (Word, 38 KB)

C: Organising reading

Word icon. Handout C reading to children (Word, 40 KB)

Handout with key messages for teachers

D: Supporting reading to children in the home

Word icon. Handout D reading to children (Word, 36 KB)

Published on: 01 Apr 2020