All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Hot Topics in Adolescent Literacy

Motivation & Engagement

Keeping kids interested and motivated to read can be a challenge. Some students who can read would rather do other things instead, while those who struggle with reading often don't enjoy it. Find out what you can do to motivate kids to read every day.


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How Can Instruction Help Adolescent Students with Motivation?

Teachers have an important role to play in influencing and supporting students' motivation for learning. This article highlights four classroom strategies that educators can use to engage students with texts.

Student Motivation and Engagement in Literacy Learning

Teachers can help students build confidence in their ability to comprehend content-area texts, by providing a supportive environment and offering information on how reading strategies can be modified to fit various tasks. Teachers should also make literacy experiences more relevant to students' interests, everyday life, or important current events.

Stuck in the Middle: Strategies to Engage Middle-Level Learners

Learn about three strategies that can help create a meaningful curriculum to engage middle-level learners. The strategies draw from effective classroom practices across grade levels, as well as from research about the social, emotional, and physical development of middle-level learners.

Movie Read-Alikes from YALSA

If the teens in your life love movies, check out this list of read-alikes for blockbusters like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

What Are the Key Elements of Student Engagement?

As part of their series to help schools understand the federal No Child Left Behind Law, Learning Point Associates describes the four key elements of student engagement — student confidence, teacher involvement, relevant texts, and choice among texts and assigments.

Using Student Engagement to Improve Adolescent Literacy

For struggling adolescent readers, creating student interest is as vital as teaching language skills.

For Teens, Phonics Isn't Enough

Schools often struggle to find appropriate materials and approaches to support adolescent literacy. Strategies that work for children can ignore teens' existing skills, knowledge, and life experience, and exclude them from the critical content that their peers are studying. Here are some effective teaching strategies for struggling older students.

Poor Children's Fourth-Grade Slump

Teachers have often reported a fourth-grade slump in literacy development, particularly for low-income children, at the critical transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." This study uses Chall's stages of reading development to take a closer look.

Blending Multiple Genres in Theme Baskets

The theme-basket concept of literature instruction combines several approaches known to work with marginalized readers, students with learning disabilities, and ELLs: 1) a thematic approach to teaching literature, 2) the use of children’s books in secondary classrooms, 3) the coupling of young adult books with the classics, and 4) capitalizing on young adults’ background knowledge, interests, and skills in reading multiple genres. This article includes a sample theme basket with The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck as its centerpiece.

Hooking Struggling Readers: Using Books They Can and Want to Read

One of the keys to helping struggling readers is to provide them with books that they can and want to read. Fiction for struggling readers must have realistic characters, readable and convincing text, and a sense of the readers' interests and needs. Non-fiction books, newspapers, magazines, even comic books can hook students on reading.

What's the Big Idea? Integrating Young Adult Literature in the Middle School

Drawing on New York City teachers' experiences, this article examines three ways to effectively integrate young adult literature into the curriculum: use core texts (usually novels, but also other genres as well) that the entire class read and study together; organize literature study with text sets, allowing students to select from multiple texts to read; and incorporate independent reading into coursework (via Sustained Silent Reading or at-home reading assignments).

Motivating Reluctant Adolescent Readers

How can you motivate adolescents who have never turned on to the magic of reading? Tutoring teenagers is as much about building self-confidence as teaching skills. Low self-image and feelings of powerlessness trouble many unmotivated adolescents.

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