We all learn by observing what competent, successful people do. For instance, we learn skills and strategies by watching good cooks, we adapt new moves from observing good skiers, and we can learn from the experiences and hardships of good dieters. Children need to know what good readers and writers do. If they have grown up without daily modeling of language and literacy skills, they will need to know these things even more than others if they hope to catch up to their peers.
When we engage children in the practice of shared reading, we involve them in the very things that good readers do. We model good reading while also drawing them into the act of reading. Perhaps one of the greatest teaching tools available to anyone who teaches is the ability to model. Master, this, and you will catch many kids who might otherwise continue to founder, all the while looking for someone to actually show them how it’s done.