Karen Erickson reads a book with a student with disabilities

What is Shared Reading?

The Tar Heel Shared Reader approach has been shown to be successful in promoting engagement, communication, and language among students with and without disabilities.

During shared book reading, the adult reading partner uses the book as a platform for promoting interaction.

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The adult seeks to read “with the child” and not “to the child.”

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The adult seeks to follow the student’s interests and provides examples of comments the student could say.

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When the student communicates nonverbally, the adult provides an example of how the student can communicate it with one word, sign, or symbol. 

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When the student communicates with words/signs/symbols, the adult repeats it and adds one more word, sign, or symbol.

student holding a tablet and pointing at a symbol

Professional Development

Explore Tar Heel Shared Reader’s collection of free professional development courses.

student and teacher choosing a book on tar heel reader

Teaching and Implementation Supports

Everything you need to start using the Tar Heel Shared Reader approach with your students. Here you will find school guidance documentation, implementation supports, and self-reflection and observation forms.

student sitting at a table with a book in front of him

Shared Reading Bibliography

An annotated bibliography of the research used to create the Tar Heel Shared Reader approach.


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