top of page


The Reading Universe is a creation of the Barksdale Reading Institute (BRI), a Mississippi-based philanthropic organization devoted to improving significantly our state’s pre-literacy and reading skills.


For almost two decades, BRI has worked in K-3 classrooms with elementary teachers and principals to align early literacy instruction with up to date cognitive and educational science.  The Reading Universe was introduced fifteen years ago as a way to illustrate to pre-service teachers how the various skills that are required for proficient reading fit within a larger picture. 


The Reading Universe is not a scope and sequence for reading instruction, as every child may not need to be explicitly taught every skill as presented.  However, every teacher should be equipped to teach each of the skills presented and in a systematic, explicit, and sequential way.  This is our goal for teacher preparation and early literacy instruction in Mississippi. 


We welcome your feedback about this site and how it can be more useful to your work in early literacy instruction.


Each block within the Reading Universe grid is a threshold to further examination of the skill.  Clicking on a block links you to an explanation of the skill, videos of exemplary instruction, activities and lesson plans, and other high-quality resources courtesy of additional links to reputable partner organizations.  To access all of these resources:


  • Create a username and password.

  • Download the Reading Universe grid to help you track where you are at-a-glance.

  • Go through each box to see the whole repertoire of ready skills and all the tools available.

  • Click on the skill that is most relevant to what you are teaching right now.


bottom of page