Resources on Reading Instruction

Reading is the fundamental skill upon which so much else—both inside and outside the classroom—depends. Below is a selection of AFT resources to help support the goal of ensuring each and every child receives the best possible instruction, tools, and supports for reading success.

Using the theme of Oh, the Places You Will Go!, these flyers offer activity suggestions for educators and families that can be used during literacy night or at home to help support student learning. 

These resources help explain the standards for what your child should know and be able to do while reading literature and nonfiction (informational) texts, writing about and discussing what he or she has read. These flyers offer suggestions for how you might support your child’s learning at home.

It’s been 20 years since Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science was published. This new version of the seminal report reinforces and extends our understanding of literacy instruction. Please join renowned researcher and author Louisa C. Moats and two AFT national literacy trainers for an on-demand webinar to hear about how the science of reading can be implemented in virtual and physical classrooms alike.

In this updated report, Louisa C. Moats calls for teacher preparation and professional development to be more rigorous and better aligned with decades of reading science. She describes the knowledge that undergirds successful instruction and concludes with recommendations for the professional preparation of all teachers of reading. It is our nation’s dedicated teachers and their excellent teaching that will bring the rocket science that is research-based reading instruction to classrooms across the country and will unlock the power and joy of reading for our children.

The AFT provides research-based professional learning opportunities at events throughout the year and also works with state federations and local affiliates to deliver coursework locally. Literacy courses include:

  • Beginning Reading Instruction: This course focuses on how children learn to read and the best ways to teach reading from kindergarten to the end of the primary grades.
  • Reading Comprehension Instruction: This course focuses on the research and exemplary practices that help students acquire strong reading comprehension skills.
  • Expanding Literacy Instruction by Tutoring English Language Learners: This course is designed for educators working one-on-one with English language learners who need additional literacy supports in grades K-5 or for those who train other educators or tutors.
  • Read more about the courses in the AFT Professional Learning Catalog.

These resources help explain what your child should know and be able to do while reading and writing. The suggestions offer examples of how families can support children’s learning at home. Also included are links to helpful websites where families can find more information and resources, including videos.

Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home, and research has shown that children who have a solid foundation in their first language have an easier time learning to read in English. These one-page reading tip sheets, available in English and Spanish, offer easy ways for parents to help their children become successful readers—even if parents don’t speak English!

Colorín Colorado, a collaboration between WETA the AFT, is the premier national website serving educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12. Colorín Colorado has been providing free research-based information, activities, and advice to parents, schools, and communities around the country for more than a decade.

For trustworthy articles on literacy instruction by experienced teachers and researchers, see American Educator's subject index, and select 'Reading.'

Join the Share My Lesson Literacy community to access a wide variety of resources designed to support reading skills and comprehension for students.