Bookworms K–5 FAQs

Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing


What materials are included within the program?

Teacher Manual, ELA Lesson Plans, Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Student Workbook + Handwriting Books, and Differentiated Instruction Manual + Lesson Plans.

Who authored Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing?

Bookworms was originally the collaborative work of two researchers: Michael C. McKenna at the University of Virginia and Sharon Walpole at the University of Delaware. Following Dr. McKenna’s death in December 2016, Dr. Walpole and her colleagues at the University of Delaware continued this work.

Does Bookworms meet the need for comprehensive ELA instruction in grades K–5?

Yes, and it does so in three distinct blocks of instruction: Shared Reading, English Language Arts, and Differentiated Instruction.

Does the curriculum include assessments?

Yes, there are assessments for each block of instruction included in the curriculum.

Do you offer professional learning to support teachers and leaders?

We do! Support for teachers and district teams is an essential success factor. To foster success, we offer a comprehensive suite of PL options. The Bookworms K–5 Reading and Writing curriculum is straightforward to implement, but works best when paired with expert professional development. Sharon Walpole, the author of Bookworms K–5 Reading and Writing, creates and delivers professional development for teachers, coaches, and leaders through the University of Delaware. These professional learning opportunities can include initial trainings when implementing the curriculum, short booster sessions that can be done in person or online, and school-based on-site sessions. Open Up Resources works closely with the University of Delaware to support schools and districts implementing the curriculum. Contact us to discuss which professional development options best support your implementation plan and impact goals.

Do you have any resources for families?

Yes! Each grade level Teacher Manual includes information for teachers to share with parents.

Does Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing meet ESSA requirements?

Yes! Bookworms meets the ESSA requirements for an evidence-based intervention. A USDOE Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant included a strong theory argument that the curriculum’s reliance on empirically-validated routines (repeated reading, reading comprehension strategy instruction, sentence combining, teaching students to write for a variety of purposes, and phonological awareness training with alphabet knowledge) was consistent with Institute for Education Sciences Practice Guides and with single-study review in the What Works Clearinghouse.

Where are the word study/spelling tests? Are they always on a certain day?

The word study/spelling assessments can be found in the Lesson Plans for Shared Reading. These assessments always occur on the fifth day in a week of instruction. Short week? No worries … the sequential pacing of Bookworms allows you to continue word study seamlessly regardless of when each “fifth day” occurs!

My school already uses a high-quality holistic assessment. Can we keep using that when we implement Bookworms?

Absolutely! We recommend that schools consider periodic holistic performance assessments in reading and writing that have been designed externally rather than creating their own assessments geared toward specific standards. Many schools and districts already have such assessment systems in place. Schools may also take advantage of open-access assessments. For example, Achieve the Core ( has on-demand writing tasks for all grade levels and reading mini-assessments beginning in Grade 3.

Where are word study/spelling lists for each grade?

You can find the word study lists in the appendices of each grade level Teacher Manual.

Is there a Professional Learning Community for Bookworms teachers?

Yes! The Bookworms Community Group on Facebook is a fantastic national PLC for teachers using the Bookworms curriculum. Head over there for engaging discussions and monthly events, to find resources, and to ask questions about all things Bookworms!

Do you offer support for diverse learners?

Yes! We break it down below: 

Students with Disabilities 

  • The curriculum supports students with disabilities through various structures and protocols such as partner-reading during the Shared Reading Block, with the stronger reading partner acting as a peer coach. During this daily block, students also read passages multiple times and answer scaffolded comprehension questions. Sentence starters, graphic organizers, and skeletons are also provided to aid students with their written responses. 

English Language Learners 

  • Bookworms was designed based on language development research. ELL supports are included in the teacher materials, and the curriculum contains multiple forms of supports and differentiated skills lessons.
  • Daily read-alouds and choral reading exercises provide ELL students with an opportunity to have their teachers and native-speaking peers model the habits of strong readers, including rate and prosody.
  • Visual supports—including graphics, charts, webs, and organizers—help reinforce comprehension as well as oral language development for ELL students, and the streamlined routines within the curriculum create a space where protocols can be easily learned by all students. 

High-Achieving Readers 

  • Students who begin the year with high achievement act as reading coaches to their peers during Shared Reading, are exposed to above grade level text to develop content knowledge and vocabulary during the ELA Block, and receive the practice and targeted instruction they need during the Differentiated Instruction Block.
  • The flexibility of the curriculum allows for students to be paired in ways that pushes their inferential thinking abilities while allowing students to self-select challenging literary and informational texts most suited for their interests.

What types of digital and print options do you offer?

We meet districts where they are on the digital continuum, providing affordable, high-quality print services for teacher and student materials whenever necessary. Notably, we provide the same content across digital and print versions, allowing for partially digital implementations; as 1:1 device availability increases, districts realize additional savings over time.

Digital Access for 1:1 Classrooms

  • Our curricula integrate with common Learning Management Systems + Microsoft OneNote.

Print Options

  • We offer low-cost, high-quality, full-color print student consumables and teacher’s editions for districts requiring print materials. Because we negotiate deeply discounted print rates, districts find our print costs to be lower than self-printing options.

Classroom Kits

  • We offer conveniently bundled kits comprising required and recommended trade books, teacher guides, and student workbooks. Contact our team for additional details.

Trade Book Lists

  • Bookworms is designed for students to read a high volume of words every day and is centered around excellent, whole texts.

Open Up Resources provides trade books at competitively discounted prices, and books come kitted with curriculum by module, by grade, and by classroom for each teacher.


How can I reset my password for my Bookworms Digital Site login?

Visit the sign in page at this link and click ‘Forgot your password?’. You will then receive an email with instructions to reset your password.

Can I upload the Bookworms Curriculum to Canvas or Schoology?

At this time, we do not have functionality to support uploading the Bookworms Reading & Writing K–5 curriculum to any LMS. Please rest assured that when we do we will notify you.

Do you integrate with Microsoft OneNote?

At this time, we do not have functionality to support OneNote for Bookworms Reading & Writing K–5 curriculum. Please rest assured that when we do we will notify you.

When will Common Cartridge be available?

At this time, we do not have functionality to support common cartridge for Bookworms Reading & Writing K–5 curriculum. Please rest assured that when we do we will notify you.