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Reading with children at home (junior primary years 1–4)

Workshop plan


  • To support students in reading at home.
  • To support parents/caregivers in reading with their children at home.
  • For students to share with parents/caregivers and teachers their knowledge, understandings, and uses of reading at home.
  • For teachers to learn about children’s reading practices and experiences 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.

Discuss the importance of reading for today’s children. Talk about when someone needs to read for practical or work purposes, reading for pleasure, and how reading helps with thought (cognitive and metacognitive).

2. Small group

Talk about the difference between reading to and reading with children. Discuss the different purposes of each. Share handouts A and B.

Have a parent and child read together. Discuss the specific steps and the different components involved in the process.

Parent/caregivers make a list or discuss what they could do in their own situations when reading with a child.

Talk about the importance of having rich and varied vocabulary. If language is rich and varied in the first language, this is useful for children learning an additional language.

Discuss metacognition and how reading can support this and how metacognition can support reading.

Explain why discussing the text (for example, the information in the text or character, plot, structure, and building up tension) is important for the child’s learning.

3. Whole group

The lead parent feeds back to the group what they have discussed, thoughts, questions, wonderings they have and how the teachers could support them when they work with their children. 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 C). 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, above.

Farewell and follow-up steps

Refer back to the outline of the generic workshop structure, above.

Resource sheets

Handouts with key messages for parents/caregivers

A: Reading with children at home.

Word icon. Handout A Reading with children at home (Word, 32 KB)

B: Discussing texts.

Word icon. Handout B Reading with children at home (Word, 34 KB)

Handout with key messages for teachers

C: Parents reading with children.

Word icon. Handout C Reading with children at home (Word, 24 KB)

Published on: 01 Apr 2020