Article One

Effective Reading & Writing Instruction: A Focus on Modeling

Key Points and Questions

Modeling is a necessary stage of effective instruction that helps students to conceptualize and apply new skills and strategies.

Modeling requires: flexibility, reasoning, and critical thinking ability

Teachers should model why the strategy is used by providing specific reasons for the strategy selections (conditional knowledge)

  • What is an example of a specific reason why strategies should be used?

Teacher should model how the strategy is used by providing explicit instruction absent of ambiguity (procedural knowledge)

  • What is an example of explicit instruction that is clear?

Teacher should model what strategies to select in specific situations by selecting the appropriate strategy to match the situation and/or being too rigid with how to use the strategy (declarative knowledge)

  • What is an example of a situation and an appropriate strategy to use in that situation?

Think-Alouds are the first step in raising student awareness of what it means to be a strategic learner.

Impact and Importance

Effective reading and writing instruction is important because less than 35% of students in grades 4-8 performed at or above the proficient level in reading in 2007 and this number needs to be a lot higher. As educators we need to know the strategies in order for our students to excel at reading and writing. Every day students will come in contact with reading and writing and they have to have to tools to be able to comprehend what they are reading. Explicitly modeling effective reading and writing strategies will only better our students and create a great foundation in implementing students conceptual and procedural knowledge.

Professional Resources

Helpful text: The Literacy Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction

Helpful website:


I think there is an obvious demand for students being able to be an effective reader and an effective writer. I also think explicitly modeling is the one true way of getting students to use the strategies on their own time. The more the teacher models, verbally and physically, the students will take into account and do the strategy naturally.


Regan, K., & Berkeley, S. (2012). Effective Reading and Writing Instruction: A Focus on Modeling. Intervention In School & Clinic, 47(5), 276-282. doi:10.1177/1053451211430117