Reading: how to select and prepare high-quality teaching resources

Find advice from the DfE's 2021 reading framework, to help you make sure your staff have only the best resources at their fingertips for teaching reading.

Last reviewed on 21 March 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44368
  1. How to choose which books to read aloud
  2. Set your book corner up for success
  3. Order 'decodable' books according to when pupils will learn to decode them
  4. Choose rhymes and poems that will develop pupils’ language skills

How to choose which books to read aloud

Teachers should promote a love of reading by showing that they love stories.

But, this doesn’t mean that they should only choose the books that they loved as a child. 

Choose books that: 

  • Engage pupils emotionally
  • Elicit a strong response, such as curiosity, anger, excitement, laughter or empathy 
  • Have a strong narrative that will sustain multiple readings 
  • Extend pupils’ vocabulary 
  • Have illustrations that are engaging and reflect children from all backgrounds and cultures 
  • Help pupils connect with who they are 
  • Help children to understand the lives of people whose experiences and perspectives may be different from their own (find out how to improve diversity in your children’s books)
  • Include stories set in both the UK and around the world
  • Include both modern and traditional stories 
  • Include fiction and non-fiction 

Note: it's unlikely that just 1 book will meet all of these criteria, but the full selection as a whole should cover them. 

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.