When teachers make the transition from textbook only classrooms to multi-text classrooms, the focus of study becomes concepts rather than the content of one particular book. Students gain both a broad perspective and an in-depth sense of the subject matter from reading many texts on the same topic. —Dr. Gail Ivey
One of the great quandaries of secondary instruction is how we give students more voice and choice in their learning while still covering standards, deepening students’ understanding, and sharpening their critical analysis skills. Taking a text set approach for your English literature or content area classes may be the solution you have been looking for.
A text set utilizes a collection of texts and other materials on a particular topic or theme that allows students to access the same standards-based curricula from varying reading levels and perspectives, while also building a shared understanding of a topic or theme. Typically students select from multiple texts then read, discuss and confirm their thinking within book clubs or literature circles. Opportunities to share in a whole class setting are interspersed throughout the thematic or topical study as well as interactions with other materials within the text set to deepen students’ understanding.
There is no one way to use a text set. Our hope is that you will explore the variety of texts and materials provided and choose those that will best engage your students in discussions and critical thinking.