10 Books to Help You Put the Science of Reading Into Practice

The research is clear: to be successful readers, students need structured literacy instruction that’s grounded in science and focuses on explicit teaching of key concepts, from oral language and listening skills and phonics to fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. But many teachers don’t get the foundation they need to teach these skills systematically. Aligned with the science of reading, the 10 professional development texts in today’s post will give educators the critical background knowledge they’ll need to ensure that every child learns to read and write.

Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction & Assessment, Pre-K–6, Second Edition
Edited by Martha C. Hougen, Ph.D., & Susan M. Smartt, Ph.D., with invited contributors

Grade range: Pre-K–6

Crystal-clear and very well organized, this complete guide is a great place to start with evidence-based literacy instruction. Get a reader-friendly explanation of the research base for structured literacy instruction, plus practical guidance on all the essentials: oral language, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, handwriting, spelling, and writing.

Rave review:
“A comprehensive, clear, highly practical resource based in the science of reading and writing…a top choice for teachers and teacher educators.”Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Southern Connecticut State University


Speech to Print
Language Essentials for Teachers, Third Edition
By Louisa Cook Moats, Ed.D.

Grade range: K-12

The best reading teachers have in-depth knowledge of the structure and function of language—and that’s what this popular, widely used text delivers. Get comprehensive, accurate, and accessible information on the underpinnings of language instruction, plus insight into how students should be taught. Includes case studies, activities, teaching principles, and analysis of real student work samples.

Rave review:
“Includes all a teacher needs to know about the English language in order to teach reading and writing…a must-read for all teachers.”—Marcia Henry, Ph.D., author, Unlocking Literacy; Professor Emerita, San Jose State University


Speech to Print Workbook
Language Exercises for Teachers, Third Edition
By Louisa Cook Moats, Ed.D., & Bruce Lyons Rosow, Ed.D.

Grade range: K-12

A great resource for professional development, this companion to Speech to Print helps you deepen your understanding of spoken and written English and sharpen your skills. Includes exercises, quizzes, and teaching tips for all the areas addressed in Speech to Print, including phonetics and phonology, orthography, morphology, syntax, and semantics.

Rave review:
“Excellent…the most thorough and comprehensive tool I have encountered in a long time. Every aspect of speech to print development is addressed.”—Cynthia Fletcher, Assistant Principal/IEP Chair, Green Holly Elementary School


Next STEPS in Literacy Instruction
Connecting Assessments to Effective Interventions, Second Edition
By Susan M. Smartt, Ph.D. & Deborah R. Glaser, Ed.D.

Grade range: Pre-K–6

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with the results of literacy assessments—and how to translate them into effective instruction—then this is the book for you. This teacher-friendly planning guide matches the items of today’s most popular reading assessments (including DIBELS 8th Edition, Acadience Reading K-6, easyCBM, and aimswebPlus) with Tiers 1, 2, and 3 interventions, strategies, and activities that help struggling readers succeed.

Rave review:
One-stop shopping for the busy teacher. It has the right amount of pedagogy for understanding the science of reading and the right amount of examples to implement the components of Structured Literacy. I wish I had this book when I began teaching in 1990. It is perfection!”—Dee Dee Cain, University of Central Arkansas


The Writing Rope
A Framework for Explicit Writing Instruction in All Subjects
By Joan Sedita, M.Ed.

Grade range: Grades 4–8

Apply the science of reading to the skill of writing! An instant bestseller, this groundbreaking book will help you plan and deliver comprehensive, explicit, and evidence-based writing instruction. Master five fundamentals of a comprehensive writing curriculum, and get dozens of templates, handouts, and other resources for helping students become proficient writers.

Rave review:
“Finally, a solid framework to explicitly guide teachers in writing, in all subjects…provides practical activities and resources to develop competent and confident writers. This book will be your new best friend.”—Donna Hejtmanek, President of the Literacy Task Force of Wisconsin


The Reading Comprehension Blueprint
Helping Students Make Meaning from Text
By Nancy Hennessy, M.Ed.

Grade range: K–8

Comprehension is one of the most important ingredients of reading success. Meticulously researched and masterfully organized, this book gives you a clear blueprint for understanding the complexities of reading comprehension—and delivering evidence-based instruction that helps your students make meaning from challenging texts.

Rave review:
Book: “The perfect tool to support the educator who is interested and invested in implementing change in the classroom to teach a variety of students who deserve to reach their full potential as skilled readers. Nancy Hennessy is a true gift to our field.”—Pat Roberts & Nancy Blair, Co-Founders of AIM Academy and AIM Institute for Learning & Research


The Reading Comprehension Blueprint Activity Book
A Practice & Planning Guide for Teachers
By Nancy E. Hennessy, M.Ed., & Julia Salamone, M.Ed.

Grade range: K–8

Put the Reading Comprehension Blueprint into action with this new companion activity book! Created in response to popular demand, this book gives you sample lesson plans, instructional activities, and teaching tips for every section of the Blueprint. Perfect for professional development, this hands-on resource is great for individual teachers, small groups, or learning communities.

Rave review:
Activity book: “Nancy Hennessy and Julia Salamone make navigating the complexities of comprehension instruction effortless…they provide a wealth of actionable tools for rigorous, cumulative, and systematic comprehension instruction that seamlessly integrate into lesson planning across grade levels.”—Jessica Hamman, Founder & CEO of Glean Education


Teaching Reading Sourcebook, Third Edition
By Bill Honig, Linda Diamond, & Linda Gutlohn

Grade range: K–12

Organized according to the guiding questions behind explicit instruction (what?, why?, when?, and how?), this hands-on teacher’s guide gives you both a research-informed knowledge base and practical sample lesson models to use in your classroom. Master five key elements of an effective reading program—phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.

Rave review:
“Provides both distilled theory and research, with lessons you can teach tomorrow morning. It is a keeper…a textbook that teachers will want to keep and pull off their professional bookshelf quite often.”Shane Templeton, University of Nevada, Reno


Vocabulary Handbook
By Linda Diamond & Linda Gutlohn

Grade range: Elementary to high school

In this single reference book, you’ll get vocabulary research and the nuts and bolts of explicit vocabulary instruction that improves students’ reading comprehension. Discover the what, why, when, and how of the three main elements of high-quality vocabulary instruction: specific word instruction, independent word-learning strategies, and word consciousness.

Rave review:
“The authors artfully extend current reading research into meaningful classroom practice…It provides a wealth of research-based instructional resources specifically designed to support vocabulary acquisition and development.”—Education Review


Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Fourth Edition
Edited by Judith R. Birsh, Ed.D., CALT-QI, & Suzanne Carreker, Ph.D., CALT-QI

Grade range: Elementary through high school

The most comprehensive text available on multisensory teaching, this book gets you ready to use specific evidence-based approaches that improve struggling students’ language skills and academic outcomes. Includes practical strategies and guidelines on planning lessons, connecting research with practice, conducting and interpreting assessment, and more.

Rave review:
“A true gift to all those who work so hard to teach children (and adults) to read. This extremely thoughtful book provides teachers with an in-depth A-to-Z of what you need to know to teach and reach all readers successfully—the scientific and the practical.”—Sally Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia


Explore these and other books in more depth in our new Literacy catalog, and save 10%!

(Order by 6/30/24 and use code LANGLIT24.)

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