Reading PK-3

Systems Change
Reading PK-3 > Strategies > Whole Language

Whole Language


Students with strong early literacy skills benefit from a literacy-rich approach. Whole language stresses the importance of students understanding language by reading meaningful texts and drawing connections to their own life experiences. Complementing whole language instruction with phonics-focused lessons is important for these students to build their reading comprehension in context and overall reading success.

Use It in the Classroom

  • Research has found that students with strong early literacy skills, such as Vocabulary and Decoding, made greater gains in reading when engaged in meaning-making activities. For these students, teachers can introduce rich literature and a variety of genres to foster enthusiasm for reading. They can also help support continued growth in Decoding skills through what students are reading by having students draw phonic connections as they appear in the text.
  • 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 WriteReader applies whole language to help children learn to write when they are also learning to read. Through creating and writing their own books, learners develop their reading and writing skills concurrently, which enhances the meaningfulness of these processes.

  • Products can support whole language by providing diverse texts that are interesting and stimulating to learners. When products, like A2i, provide whole language and phonics instruction, learners continue to build their Decoding skills.
  • Resources

    Below are additional examples, research, and professional development. These resources are possible representations of this strategy, not endorsements.

    Factors Supported by this Strategy

    Language and Literacy
    Social and Emotional Learning
    Student Background