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Layers of LearniNg


What if we viewed every book as an invitation to learn more about literacy, ourselves, others, and our world?


Layers of Learning provides strategies and titles to explore (discussion possibilities, reading-writing connections, ) and life lessons on and off the pages of our read alouds. 


The texts we share with our students convey big messages and strengthen relationships while promoting a greater understanding for ourselves, helping us develop compassion for others, and leading us to appreciate the diversity of our world. As we consider the impact of read alouds to layer these affective qualities with academic instruction, readers come to understand how read alouds can strengthen their community of learners and their community’s learning. This book proposes a framework that will help readers take advantage of this layering, essentially feeding three birds with one hand (reading, writing, caring communities).  


Inspired by my work in classrooms, this book is a merger of practice, practicality, and theory and includes two parts with equal benefits.  Part I provides the research, support and practices around why read alouds matter and introduces a framework for layering literacy and life lessons throughout one’s day. Part II provides practical applications (with text recommendations) and beyond book lists, provides examples so readers can begin to implement this framework immediately and think more critically about their own text selections to reach the hearts, minds and hands of all learners. Through suggested texts, models, conversation guides, and curricular as well as social emotional connections, readers will walk away with a variety of clear examples they can use to impact their teaching and communities. This book has been years in the making, but it won’t be complete without the experiences you and your students bring to its pages.


Together, let’s make every text we share and every move we make an invitation to learn about ourselves, others, and our world. 

"This book is going to help so many people encounter the best short texts this world has to offer our students, and we are lucky that JoEllen has spent her career working so hard to build and share this knowledge.”

— Kate and Maggie Roberts

Authors and Guest Teachers

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