Complex Text or Frustration-Level Text: Using Shared Reading to Bridge the Difference


  • Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl

  • The department editor welcomes reader comments. Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl is an assistant professor of literacy at New York University, USA; e-mail


Challenging texts can be made accessible to students by increasing the level of instructional scaffolding. This article describes evidence-based models of shared reading that support reading development across the elementary years. Shared Reading Experience (Holdaway, 1982), Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction (Stahl & Heubach, 2005), think-alouds, and high-level discussion enable students to successfully read texts that might be considered frustration level if relying upon traditional criteria for determining difficulty.