Balanced Literacy:  Reading and Writing in the First and Second Grade Classroom

an Internet-Based Treasure Hunt on Balanced Literacy

created by Cathy Root, Reading Specialist

Introduction | The Questions | Big Question | Internet Resources


 Balanced literacy is an approach through which the teacher makes thoughtful choices every day about the best way to help each child become a better reader and writer.  It is an approach that requires and frees the teacher to be a reflective decision-maker   and to fine tune and modify what he or she is doing in order to meet the needs of each child.  A balanced approach recognizes the contributions of many different approaches and perspectives.

 Follow the links to the questions below and discover the various components of balanced literacy.  Each resource link is used once to  answer one question.  After finding all the answers, move to the big question to bring your ideas together in a broader understanding of the topic.


 1. What are the components of a balanced literacy program?

 2. What are some recognizable characteristics of readers K-12?

 3. What are some useful instructional strategies for literature-based instruction?

 4. Why is classroom setup so important?

 5. How can you develop classroom management strategies that support a literate classroom?

 6. What is Shared Reading and why is it important in a balanced literacy  classroom?

 7. What are some criteria that help with the selection of books for Guided Reading?

 8. Why is it important to match books and readers?

 9. What is the purpose for book introductions?

 10. What is Guided Reading?

 11. What are the steps in a Guided Reading lesson?

 12. Why is it important to use cues when reading?

 13. What are some ways to promote reading fluency?

 14. What assessments are used in a balanced literacy program?

The Big Question

 Consider all the components of a Balanced Literacy program.  Reflect  on your classroom and compare it with a balanced literacy classroom.   What are you doing that is effective?  What could be changed or added to meet the needs of each child to help them become better readers and writers?

Internet Resources