Literacy Essentials

Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for All Learners

This inspirational, practical resource guides K-12 teachers and leaders to develop a trusting, joyful, intellectual and equitable schoolwide culture that empowers all learners to thrive as self-directed readers, writers, thinkers and responsible citizens. Each of the three sections in Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for All Learners provides numerous Take Action ideas for implementing authentic and responsive teaching, assessing, and learning—all supported by actionable research. A free, comprehensive website includes a study guide and multiple, downloadable resources.

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Includes a free Study Guide and free College Course Curriculum.

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Based on her ongoing teaching, leading, and coaching in diverse schools and districts, Regie offers K-12 teachers and leaders practical, easy-to-implement tools to help students develop as self-determining readers, writers, and learners. 15 chapters are divided into short, focused passages and include:

  • Take Action sections with specific suggestions for authentically teaching, assessing, and learning

  • Extensive research that is easily accessible and actionable

  • Personal stories that connect to literacy teaching and learning

  • Rich online resources including a comprehensive lesson plan, an easy-to-use study guide, downloadable Appendices, and more.

Literacy Essentials shows what’s possible when teachers and schools raise expectations for all students and create an intellectual culture based on trust, collaborative expertise, and celebration of learners’ strengths.



Listen to Literacy Essentials: The Stories, a 90-minute podcast where Regie narrates all 13 of the Stories in the Engagement, Excellence, and Equity sections of her latest book, Literacy Essentials. Be inspired by these personal and professional stories that connect us to teaching, learning, and living a full life. Also available wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen to a three-part podcast conversation on Equity with Regie Routman and Jacob Chastain. Part 1: We Teach Kids, Not Data; Part 2: What’s Wrong and How to Fix It; Part 3: Joy in Learning is a Necessity.  

Listen to Essential Conversations with Regie Routman and Allison Tucker, a special series from voicEd Radio facilitated by radio broadcaster and educator Stephen Hurley. 

Listen to a 30-minute episode of Truth for Teachers podcast with Angela Watson and Regie Routman discussing Literacy Essentials.


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What stands out most to me in Literacy Essentials is Routman’s honesty and her willingness to help teachers think about how to balance joy, high expectations, and student accountability...It's as close to perfect a tool as I’ve seen to use as part of ongoing professional development for literacy practitioners and leaders. 

Rita Platt

Principal, National Board Certified teacher


Regie Routman: Literacy Essentials Walk-through
"Never underestimate that you—one deeply, caring, knowledgeable, curious educator—can make a life-changing difference in a child’s life." Learn why and how this is the book for today’s times—for creating a trusting, collaborative, joyful school culture where all learners thrive.

About the Author(s)

Regie Routman is a longtime teacher, leader, and author who is committed to improving the literacy and learning lives of students, especially those in high-challenge schools. She currently works on-site in diverse schools and districts coaching and mentoring principals, leaders at all levels, and teachers.


Table of Contents

A Note About Notes and Other Resources
Introduction: Letter to My Colleagues


1. Developing Trusting Relationships
2. Celebrating Learners
3. Creating a Thriving Learning Environment
4. Teaching with Purpose and Authenticity


1. Embedding Professional Learning
2. Expert Teaching Through Frontloading
3. Listening, Speaking, and Questioning
4. Embracing the Reading-Writing Connection
5. Teaching Readers
6. Teaching Writers


1. Making High Expectations an Instructional Reality
2. Reaching All Learners
3. Applying Responsible Assessment
4. Developing Self-determining Learners
5. Advocating for Students

Afterword: The Need for Civic Engagement
Appendices A-I
References and Resources


Product Details

Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Media: 496 pp/paperMedia: Literacy Essentials 10 Book Study Bundle
Year: 2018
Item No: 1037Item No: 1435-2
ISBN: 978-1-62531-037-8ISBN: 978-1-62531-435-2
Hashtag: #LitEssentials