Research to Practice Guidance
These REL West resources share practical strategies for teachers to promote joyful learning experiences—through interactive reading, creative writing, and the arts—for children in preschool through the early elementary grades. The guidance offered emphasizes educating the whole child, culturally and linguistically sustaining practices, and social-emotional learning. The resources are based on the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide, Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition teaching practice brief, Integrating Language Into Early Childhood Education, and other research-based guidance.
Scaffolding Emergent Reading, Oral Language, and Writing for Dual Language Learners/English Learners in PreK–1st Grade
Language & Literacy Development in PreK–1st Grade: Words and More
Joyful Reading at School and at Home: A storybook reading routine
Joyful Reading at School and at Home: Creative expression activities
The resources below provide ideas for engaging young multilingual learners in joyful reading and supporting their language and literacy development. The reading activity guides can be shared with parents, families, and caregivers to strengthen school-home literacy partnerships.
Home and School Activity Guides: Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, & Caprice Crane
A Teaching Routine for Academic Vocabulary in Grades PreK–1
This video walks viewers through a 3-step routine for teaching new vocabulary to young children that includes lots of opportunities to practice using the new word in different ways.
Interactive Readalouds: Learning from books together
This video shares tips for asking effective questions for both on-the-surface and deeper-dive discussions of books, models the read aloud process, and introduces a writing task and a read aloud planning template.
Download the related lesson planning template, which includes step-by-step instructions for planning your own interactive read alouds.
Interactive writing instruction online with young children
This video demonstrates how to facilitate an interactive writing lesson with kindergarteners and first graders in a distance learning environment. Watch Professor Nell K. Duke from the University of Michigan as she teaches children how to collaboratively write a letter using an online interactive whiteboard.
Joyful Reading and Creative Expression with Young Children: Planning Tips and Tools
In this video, Dr. Pamela Spycher shares tips, tools, and resources for planning joyful reading and creative expression activities with young children in preschool through the early elementary grades. An accompanying Planning Guide contains tips, templates, and resources to help educators plan joyful read alouds and creative expression activities with young children.