Principles of Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades K-5

Edited by Seth A. Parsons and Margaret Vaughn
Foreword by Nell K. Duke

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
April 30, 2021
ISBN 9781462546077
Price: $85.00 $63.75
334 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 30, 2021
ISBN 9781462546046
Price: $35.00 $26.25
334 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 30, 2021
Price: $35.00 $26.25
334 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $70.00 $38.50
334 Pages
Professors: Free copies available for adoption consideration

What are the principles that every elementary teacher must learn in order to plan and adapt successful literacy instruction? This concise course text and practitioner resource brings together leading experts to explain the guiding ideas that underlie effective instructional practice. Each chapter reviews one or more key principles and highlights ways to apply them flexibly in diverse classrooms and across grade levels and content areas. Chapters cover core instructional topics (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension); high-quality learning environments; major issues such as assessment, differentiation, explicit instruction, equity, and culturally relevant pedagogy; and the importance of teachers’ reflective practice and lifelong learning.

“I have learned from both my research and my more than 50 years of working with K–5 classroom teachers that teaching reading is a complex, creative process based in principles, not rules. Teachers must apply those principles in various ways at various times to help students become all they are capable of being. This book helps teachers understand that the key to success is thoughtful adaptation of an array of environmental, instructional, and personal principles. It is a valuable introductory resource for preservice and inservice teachers immersed in the complexities of teaching reading to diverse populations of students.”

—Gerald G. Duffy, EdD, College of Education (Emeritus), Michigan State University

“Parsons and Vaughn have invited a group of extraordinary literacy researchers and practitioners to reflect on state-of-the art principles for teaching students at arguably the most important developmental grade levels. In addition to a laser focus on the most pressing issues of K–5 literacy instruction, the volume honors the work of teachers. Each scholar respectfully presents how instruction can and should cause young readers to maximize their literacy potential. This book is a perfect text for preservice elementary literacy methods courses, will likely be used in reading specialist graduate programs, and can frame lively conversations about effective literacy instruction in professional learning communities.”

—Barbara A. Marinak, PhD, Dean, School of Education, Mount St. Mary's University

“This book is impressive on several counts, including the caliber of the contributors and the compelling chapter topics. Teacher educators who are intent on preparing preservice teachers for a world in which diversity, equity, and inclusion are the mainstays undergirding effective literacy instruction will find myriad reasons to adopt this book.”

—Donna E. Alvermann, PhD, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of Georgia

“A detailed, current, and comprehensive guide to the essential elements of teaching reading and other components of literacy. As a former reading specialist, classroom teacher, and administrator, I highly encourage all educational leaders to read this exceptional text for a deeper understanding of the principled approach to literacy instruction.”

—Mary E. McNamee, MS, early childhood specialist, School Readiness Project, Fairfax County Government Office for Children, Virginia

Table of Contents

I. Environment

1. Print- and Text-Rich Classroom Environments, Allison Ward Parsons & Christy Irish

2. Well-Managed and Efficient Literacy Learning Environments, D. Ray Reutzel & Sarah K. Clark

3. Literacy Teaching for Equity, María Paula Ghiso, H. Gerald Campano, & Ankhi G. Thakurta

II. Instruction

4. Phonemic Awareness and Phonics, Evan Ortlieb, Susan Schatz, & Kathy Ganske

5. Reading Fluency, Chase Young, Timothy Rasinski, & Shelly Landreth

6. Comprehension and Vocabulary, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, & Rachelle S. Savitz

7. Assessment, Dixie Massey

8. Appropriate Intervention, Ying Guo & Allison Breit-Smith

9. Effective Differentiation, Steven J. Amendum & Kristin Conradi Smith

10. Explicit Instruction, Dana A. Robertson

11. Using Discussion to Support Literacy Learning, Jacquelynn A. Malloy & Leslie D. Roberts

12. Writing–Reading Integration, Zoi A. Philippakos

13. Literacy in the Disciplines, Cynthia H. Brock, Vicky I. Zygouris-Coe, Andrea Hayden, Joshua Montgomery, Kathleen Kniss, & Katherine Muir Welsh

14. Arranging for Reading Engagement, Gay Ivey & Erika S. Gray

15. Authentic, Challenging Tasks, Roya Q. Scales

16. Autonomy-Supportive Classroom Environments, Samantha T. Ives, Madelyn Stephens Wells, & Seth A. Parsons

17. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Multiliteracies, Jennifer D. Turner, Chrystine Mitchell, & Olivia A. Murphy

18. Critical Approaches to Text, Grace Enriquez

19. Integrating Digital Technology, Amy C. Hutchison

20. Adaptive Teaching, Margaret Vaughn

III. Teachers

21. Reflective Practice, Mary McGriff & Michelle Rosen

22. Teachers as Lifelong Learners, Aimee L. Morewood & Julie W. Ankrum


About the Editors

Seth A. Parsons, PhD, is Professor in the School of Education and the Sturtevant Center for Literacy at George Mason University. He teaches in the elementary education, literacy, and research methods program areas. Dr. Parsons’s award-winning research focuses on teacher education and development, teacher instructional adaptations, and student motivation and engagement. His work has appeared in many journals of educational research and practice.

Margaret Vaughn, PhD, is Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Technology in the College of Education at Washington State University. Dr. Vaughn's research explores adaptive and equitable practices to support student agency and literacy learning, including ways literacy instruction can honor and support students' cultural backgrounds and linguistic strengths. Dr. Vaughn is coeditor of Principles of Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades K–5, and coauthor of Teaching with Children’s Literature: Theory to Practice. Her work has appeared in many journals of educational research and practice.


Teacher educators and students; K–5 classroom teachers, literacy specialists/coaches, and staff developers.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses such as Elementary Literacy Methods, Elementary Reading Methods, and Literacy Teaching and Learning.