Shared Reading - Keep the Interaction Going!

Nearly 5 years ago I wrote a blog post called "Shared Reading: Focus on Interaction". Shared reading is when we read a book interactively with someone else - and the focus during the book reading is on that interaction.

As you are aware, there are a lot of electronic resources being shared at the moment, supporting everyone who is in Quarantine School. Some of my favourite resources are videos where people have demonstrated great shared reading practice.

Great shared reading includes:

  • Reading the book
  • Using attention getters to bring the student's attention to the text
  • Following up this by asking or inviting the student to participate in an interaction about the book
  • Responding to the invitation to participate - either the student responding or the adult modelling how to respond

This interaction is just as important as the book reading - and is where we should prioritise the use of AAC.

The first great example I saw recently was from The Grove Education Centre on their Facebook page.

Where is the green sheep?- Shared reading with PODD. (video no longer available)

Where is the Green Sheep? - Shared reading with PODD. (video no longer available)

Posted by The Grove Education Centre on Tuesday, 31 March 2020


The Grove has let us know that they will be publishing videos of shared reading regularly, starting in about three weeks. I look forward to that!

The next great example I saw was from Red Hill Special School - also on their Facebook page.

(Video no longer available)

There is a lot going on in this combined Early Years shared reading session, but communication with AAC can be messy, chaotic and doesn't always go as planned! Remember you don't always have to model long elaborate messages! The first two pages of the PODD book are easily accessible and easy to model messages like "uh oh", "help please", "don't".

Posted by Red Hill Special School on Wednesday, 1 April 2020


Today the awesome Mary-Louise Bertram published two videos. Like the previous videos, the AAC system being used is PODD. Mary-Louise reads the same book twice - the first time with a focus for early communicators. The second time for expressive communicators who are using two or more words. It's lovely to see how she differentiates her interaction for these two groups.

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And to finish - I made a video today as well . For this video I used Proloquo2Go so I could model shared reading with a core vocabulary system. And the book I'm reading is "I don't like farts" which I shared on this blog recently.

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And I hope lots of you in quarantine school are enjoying shared reading together.

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Comments (2)

  1. Geneva


    Hello Jane Farrall thanks for sharing this fun reading! My high school students will love it. How are you modeling P2G with a split screen like that? I am in the US teaching students online during the Covid-19 school closures and would love to be able to model to my groups this way. Right now I am using a document camera to model on the device but it is not as clear as what you have demonstrated here. I have to keep switching between the text and the device. Please share a tutorial. This is great!

    • jane


      HI Geneva, I have Proloquo2Go for Mac. I simply setup the P2Go window on my computer, then I had the PowerPoint running in another window and I recorded it as well. I'd be happy to do a tutorial but it would only work for Mac. If you have a Windows machine you would be able to do it by mirroring your iPad onto your Windows computer. I could do a tutorial for that if it would be helpful. Cheers. Jane

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