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Get to Know the Science of Reading

At Zaner-Bloser, we recognize that each educator is at a different point in their journey to understand—and practice—the science of reading. The resources we have collected here in our Science of Reading Hub are meant to help you get to know the research and the concepts on your own terms.

They are also meant to be shared and discussed. If you are championing the science of reading in your professional learning community, school, or district, we encourage you to use these videos, white papers, and other resources and to contact us for more information.

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Begin With the Basics

A vast body of research evidence collected over the past 40+ years—the science of reading—is both overwhelming and compelling. We know what it takes for reading development to occur.

This research reveals what happens in the brain during reading and what needs to take place instructionally to enable skillful reading. Two prominent theoretical models help us start to make sense of how children learn to read: The Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope.

Within his brain, the child is literally building the neural circuitry that links the sounds of spoken words, the phonemes, to the print code, the letters that represent those sounds.

Full citation in The Science of Reading: Evidence for a New Era of Reading Instruction


Following the Research Promotes Equity and Increases Academic Success

Reading is the single most important skill—the foundation—for all future learning. Failure to read on level by third grade impacts negatively on future academic success as well as on social and emotional development.

How do children learn to read?...The answer is the same for all children. Cultural, economic, and educational circumstances obviously affect children's progress, but what they need to learn does not change. -Seidenberg, 2017, p. 101

Full citation in The Science of Reading: Evidence for a New Era of Reading Instruction


Scientific research in the fields of education and neuroscience supports that teaching reading in the primary grades is the most urgent task in education today. Here are our top 10 reasons why, along with the best way to support teachers and students in this effort.

Learning Resources

Use our free resources and videos to deepen your knowledge of the scientific research on reading and explore the organizations and content we recommend for further learning. Share these resources with colleagues, leaders in your school or district, and families looking to support their young readers.

The Science of Reading: Evidence for a New Era of Reading Instruction

With evidence-based instruction, nearly everyone can learn to read. We must rely on the vast body of research—the science of reading—to determine what to teach and how.

Phonological Awareness Practice

Help children understand that spoken language is made up of meaningful units of sounds with these activities. Appropriate for grades K–2.

Hard Words Audio Documentary

Emily Hanford made waves with her 2018 report about many educators’ lack of knowledge of the science of reading, balanced literacy, and the reading wars.

The Science of Reading Webinar Series

This three-part Zaner-Bloser webinar series examines the “why,” “what,” and “how” of the science of reading.

Building a Strong Foundation for Learning to Read

The roadmap for teaching children to read begins with the foundational skills: oral language, vocabulary, print concepts/letter knowledge, phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency.

What Is Structured Literacy?

The International Dyslexia Association created an infographic to make the six elements and three principles of structured literacy easier to understand.

Phonemic Awareness Practice

Provide practice to build children’s phonemic awareness—the understanding that a word is made up of a sequence of small units of sounds. Appropriate for grades K–2.

What the Words Say Audio Documentary

With her fourth audio documentary for APM Reports, Emily Hanford tackles false assumptions about reading that have created inequities for U.S. students.

Building the Reading Brain

As studies from the fields of neuroscience and neuropsychology have accelerated, significant evidence has mounted underscoring the importance of reading basics for all students.

Phonics Practice with Letter-Sounds

These activities reinforce the correspondence between individual sounds in words (phonemes) and the letter(s) that stand for each sound. Appropriate for grades K–2.

The Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools

Led by Dr. Deb Glaser, The Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools provides an online reading professional development course accredited by the International Dyslexia Association.

The Reading League

The Reading League’s mission is to advance awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-based reading instruction.

At a Loss for Words Audio Documentary

Emily Hanford reports how teaching children to use cueing strategies to read persists in the U.S., despite their lack of basis in research.

Preventing Reading Failure: The Right Instruction at the Right Time

What steps can educational leaders take to get ahead of reading failure? The answer lies in prevention.

Consortium on Reading Excellence in Education (CORE)

CORE is a professional development provider committed to educational equity and reducing the achievement gap.

Zaner-Bloser can help to bring the science of reading to your school through our literacy programs and professional development services.



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