- Classifying books by genre rather than literacy level can help inspire students’ interest in reading, Julia Torres, a language arts teacher and librarian at Montbello Campus Library in Denver Public Schools, writes for Edutopia. Torres supports the idea that all books belong to all readers regardless of a student's place on the reading ability spectrum.
- Torres develops “vertically aligned” book stacks, which group titles around topics and genres, using the Sora app to organize the lists. Eliminating the concept of reading levels provides more access to all types of books, she writes, especially for those who are historically disadvantaged by reading systems.
- This system gives students the opportunity to experience different types of books to they wouldn’t otherwise have access or be exposed to under a reading level system. It also circumvents issues with standardized testing and reading proficiency assessments, allowing students to strive for more advanced reading materials regardless of their literacy level.
Many educational experts consider literacy to be the foundation on which all academic success will later build, as research suggests a link between 3rd-grade reading proficiency and their future academic success.
When students are inspired to read, literacy follows. Graphic novels, which can grab students' attention with plenty of illustrations to guide the narrative, help readers control the pace of reading. Processing both the text and pictures together leads to better recall. Some curriculum specialists prefer the medium because of its balance of words and pictures. The medium has also been cited as useful for building the literacy of English language learners, given the context provided by the art.
Pre-recorded books are another way reading literacy is reinforced. A University of Missouri School of Health Professions study found interactive, pre-recorded storybooks significantly improved the vocabulary of at-risk preschoolers through embedded vocabulary lessons. The results indicated vocabulary improved for all the students, not just those considered at-risk. The study also cited research that indicates a preschooler’s vocabulary knowledge foretells their future reading comprehension capabilities, leading to better educational outcomes.
Pre-recorded books also fit into the read-aloud approach to literacy, which is simple but often overlooked. Reading aloud gives students the opportunity to hear an adult model the words and, if it’s a daily activity, reinforces the idea that reading is pleasurable and not just a task, according to education experts. Allowing children to select books can also give them some ownership in the activity.