Chapter 1The Science of Reading

Scientists have learned a lot about the mental machinery that supports reading, and this research base inspires much of what I suggest you do throughout this book. So we need to get the basics of these scientific findings straight. I’ll introduce scientific findings about reading as they become relevant, but this chapter starts with three foundational principles, to which we’ll return again and again: (1) the sounds that letters make (not their shape) pose the real challenge as children learn to read print, (2) comprehending what we read depends mostly on our general knowledge about the topic, and (3) the key to motivation lies in getting kids to read even when they aren’t motivated to do so.

The Role of Sound ...

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