Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Independent Reading

Independent Reading


Independent reading promotes literacy by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as setting the expectations that everyone is a reader. As an integral part of literacy programs, independent reading allows students to practice and apply the reading skills and strategies they have learned to texts they are motivated to read. Expecting students to spend their time with texts that are at an appropriate reading level is just as important in supporting their overall reading growth.

Use It in the Classroom

  • Establishing a consistent time for students to independently read is often difficult for middle and high school teachers with limited class time. Establishing large and diverse classroom libraries, particularly with series books, is crucial for empowering student independence and promoting student engagement in independent reading. Teachers can provide a set time where they can provide support for students while they browse the library for independent reading books. Teachers can also have students choose fiction or non-fiction texts to read in a group or individually and share with the class.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    See how CommonLit encourages independent reading by giving students the ability to browse an extensive library. Students can search and filter to find an appropriate level text that interests them.

  • Products can promote independent reading by allowing learners to choose from appropriately leveled texts that interest them while also monitoring their work to hold them accountable for their reading. They can also help make independent reading part of learners' daily routines by reminding them when to read.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy