Reading Across the Content Areas

Rebecca Alber over at Edutopia gets it exactly right in reminding us how important literacy is across the content areas:

Here’s one way to look at it: Content is what we teach, but there is also the how, and this is where literacy instruction comes in. There are an endless number of engaging, effective strategies to get students to think about, write about, read about, and talk about the content you teach. The ultimate goal of literacy instruction is to build a student’s comprehension, writing skills, and overall skills in communication.

Ask yourself, how do I mostly convey the information and knowledge to my students? Do I turn primarily to straight lecture, or teacher talk? Or, do I allow multiple opportunities for students to discover information on their own?

Admittedly, teaching social studies and science is about much more than literacy.  But Alber’s point is that for many content classes the text continues to be the primary medium for conveying information.  And if the text is the principal method, than the complexity of the text  should be a concern for all educators. (more…)

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