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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Picture books can help middle school and high school readers build background knowledge and visual literacy, and they are also deeply engaging. The range of topics presented in picture books, in the hands of skilled storytellers and artists provides many opportunities to explore different paths for learning and getting excited about reading and information.
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.
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.
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.