Best Practices in Literacy Instruction

Sixth Edition

Edited by Lesley Mandel Morrow and Linda B. Gambrell
Introduction by Heather Kenyon Casey

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ISBN 9781462536788
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460 Pages
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Many tens of thousands of preservice and inservice teachers have relied on this highly regarded text from leading experts, now in a revised and updated sixth edition. The latest knowledge about literacy teaching and learning is distilled into flexible strategies for helping all PreK–12 learners succeed. The book addresses major components of literacy, the needs of specific populations, motivation, assessment, approaches to organizing instruction, and more. Each chapter features bulleted previews of key points; reviews of the research evidence; recommendations for best practices in action, including examples from exemplary classrooms; and engagement activities that help teachers apply the knowledge and strategies they have learned.

New to This Edition

“Recommended for literacy teachers of all skill levels.”

Choice Reviews (on the fourth edition)

“An excellent, up-to-the minute volume bursting with information about literacy instruction from well-respected experts in the field. The sixth edition features a diversity of relevant topics and contains a wealth of cutting-edge information. It is an ideal textbook for graduate courses in reading education and the perfect resource for classroom teachers, reading specialists, curriculum supervisors, and professional development providers.”

—Maureen McLaughlin, EdD, Reading Department, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; former president, International Literacy Association

“The sixth edition of this text surpassed my expectations as far as new and completely revised content. Each chapter details how a culture of learning supports best practices for a variety of learners. The book offers teachers new opportunities to consider disciplinary literacy, digital literacies, and multimodal texts. An especially strong addition is the chapter on the physiological, emotional, and behavioral foundations of learning. Throughout, the book is accessible and makes careful, thoughtful links between theory and practice. The engagement activities at the end of each chapter are powerful.”

—Diane M. Barone, EdD, Foundation Professor of Literacy Studies, University of Nevada, Reno

“A book titled Best Practices has a big job. To accomplish it, you'd better turn to the best educators who offer the best ideas with the best research base. Morrow and Gambrell deliver, with chapters on topics including motivating students, teaching dual language learners, adolescent literacy instruction, developmental word study, and helping students learn the new literacies of online research and comprehension. This is a go-to book when you need to know how to help your students succeed.”

—Kylene Beers, EdD, and Robert E. Probst, PhD, coauthors of Notice and Note

“Morrow and Gambrell have done it again! The sixth edition of this text expertly interweaves the latest theory and research with inclusive and revolutionary pedagogical practices. The contributors, all renowned in their respective areas, tackle today's most pressing literacy topics, from teaching English learners to preparing students to thrive in digital environments, and so much more. The volume tells the story of literacy education in the United States—where we've been, where we are, and where we might dare to go. It is a 'must read' for current and future teachers and other reading professionals.”

—Jennifer Renner Del Nero, PhD, Department of Special Education, Language, and Literacy, The College of New Jersey

Table of Contents

I. Perspectives on Best Practices

1. Evidence-Based Best Practices for Developing Literate Communities, Jacquelynn A. Malloy, Barbara A. Marinak, & Linda B. Gambrell

2. Current Issues and Best Practices in Literacy Instruction, Christina L. Madda, Vicki B. Griffo, P. David Pearson, & Taffy E. Raphael

3. Best Practices for Motivating Students to Read, John T. Guthrie & Ana Taboada Barber

II. Best Practices for All Students

4. Best Practices in Early Literacy: Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade, Lesley Mandel Morrow, Susan M. Dougherty, & Diane H. Tracey

5. Best Practices to Change the Trajectory of Struggling Readers, Victoria J. Risko & Doris Walker-Dalhouse

6. Best Practices for Teaching Dual-Language Learners: Leveraging Everyday Literacies, Michael Domínguez & Kris D. Gutiérrez

7. Best Practices in Adolescent Literacy Instruction, Douglas Fisher & Nancy Frey

III. Evidence-Based Strategies for Literacy Learning and Teaching

8. Best Practices for Developmental Word Study in Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling, Donald R. Bear sample

9. Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction, Kathy Ganske

10. Best Practices in Narrative Text Comprehension Instruction, Janice F. Almasi & Susan J. Hart

11. Best Practices in Informational Text Comprehension Instruction, Nell K. Duke & Nicole M. Martin

12. Best Practices in Fluency Instruction, Melanie Kuhn, Timothy Rasinski, & Chase Young

13. Best Practices in Teaching Writing, Troy Hicks

14. Best Practices in Reading Assessment, Peter Afflerbach, Byeong-Young Cho, Maria Elliker Crassas, & Jong-Yun Kim

IV. Perspectives on Special Issues

15. Best Practices in Teaching the New Literacies of Online Research and Comprehension, Lisa Zawilinski, Elena Forzani, Nicole Timbrell, & Donald J. Leu

16. Organizing Effective Literacy Instruction: Differentiating Instruction to Meet Student Needs, D. Ray Reutzel & Sarah K. Clark

17. Best Practices in the Physiological, Emotional, and Behavioral Foundations of Literacy Achievement, Diane H. Tracey

18. Building Strong Home, School, and Community Partnerships through Culturally Relevant Teaching, Jeanne R. Paratore, Patricia A. Edwards, & Lisa M. O’Brien

19. Best Practices in Professional Learning for Improving Literacy Instruction in Schools, Sharon Walpole, John Z. Strong, & Cary B. Riches


About the Editors

Lesley Mandel Morrow, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Literacy and Director of the Center for Literacy Development at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research deals with early literacy development and the organization and management of language arts programs and literacy-rich environments. Dr. Morrow has published more than 300 journal articles, chapters, and books. Her work has been recognized with awards including the Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award and the William S. Gray Citation of Merit, both from the International Literacy Association (ILA), and the Oscar S. Causey Award for outstanding contributions to reading research from the Literacy Research Association. Dr. Morrow is past president of the ILA and is a member and past president of the Reading Hall of Fame.

Linda B. Gambrell, PhD, is Professor Emerita in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University. Her major research interests are in the areas of reading comprehension, literacy motivation, and the role of discussion in teaching and learning. Dr. Gambrell has published numerous books and articles on reading instruction, comprehension strategy instruction, and literacy motivation. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award from the International Literacy Association (ILA), the Laureate Award from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER), and both the Albert J. Kingston Award and the Oscar S. Causey Award from the Literacy Research Association (LRA). Dr. Gambrell is past president of the ILA, LRA, and ALER, and is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.


Teacher educators and graduate students; teachers in PreK–12; literacy specialists and staff developers.

Course Use

Serves as a text in such courses as Methods of Reading Instruction, Teaching Literacy in the Elementary School, and Reading Diagnosis and Instruction.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Fifth Edition, © 2015
ISBN: 9781462517190

Fourth Edition, © 2011
ISBN: 9781609181789

Third Edition, © 2007
ISBN: 9781593853914

Second Edition, © 2003
ISBN: 9781572308756

First Edition, © 1999
ISBN: 9781572304437
New to this edition: