Two important reports summarize what we know about effective literacy instruction for adolescent readers. The first is Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy by the Alliance for Excellent Education. The second report, Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers from the Center on Instruction outlines recommendations in five keys areas: word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation.
You’ll notice there are similarities between the articles I’ve recommended; that’s a good thing! There is a growing consensus about effective literacy instruction, including what to teach (as you ask in your question). In addition, both reports reiterate how important it is for schools and districts to have a cohesive, unified approach towards instruction.
We’ve got many terrific readings on our site, as well as a Classroom Strategies section that outlines how to use many of the strategies recommended within the research.