Building Content-Area Literacy into our Integrated Reading Resources
The Importance of Content-Area Literacy – The Research
Literacy (the ability to read and write) is an essential skill. As Richard Vaca, author of Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum, says,
“Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives.”
Students need to be able to read, understand, and think critically about texts across the curriculum. This includes fiction, history, science, maths, news accounts, and even user manuals.
As teachers, we must expose students to a range of non-fiction topics, text types, and the variety of curriculum-specific vocabulary that comes with them. In fact, Robert Pondiscio of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute explains that students need to be exposed to topics and subject areas that they are unfamiliar with. He explains that an essential part of reading comprehension is having a background or prior knowledge to give context when reading. This article by Daniel T. Willingham echoes Pondisco’s statements – it is a fascinating read. It isn’t enough to teach students what good readers do – we need to extend and broaden their knowledge. Expect to see this as a major focus for our reading resources.
Furthermore, Papai’s research into Content-Area Literacy with ELL students concludes that content-based instruction is crucial for students with Engish as a second language.
Addressing New Zealand students declining achievement in reading, the Ministry of Education’s chief education science adviser Professor Stuart McNaughton recommends a “richer diet” [of reading texts] to extend children’s vocabulary (Read more here). We aim to provide a range of topics from across the curriculum as well as a variety of text types and structures.
Explore Our Integrated Reading Resources
Our two new reading resources also link to other areas of the curriculum. While students read about Kiwi Innovators, they are also reading about scientific, mathematical, and technological concepts. This exposes them to new content-specific vocabulary.
While reading about New Zealand disasters, students are reading non-fiction texts that link to New Zealand’s history. They will also investigate various text types including cause and effect, sequence, and compare and contrast.
Learn more about our integrated reading resources here
Explore some of the fascinating Kiwi innovators and inventions that have been created in New Zealand’s history. In this Kiwi Innovators unit, students will learn about 24 Kiwi innovators and their creative ideas, apply this knowledge by exploring digital links, and put their own design skills to the test with creative challenges. See more here.
Students read about, and broaden their knowledge, of fascinating topics such as DNA, flight, 3D animation, engines, motorbikes, the splitting of the atom, and more!
Explore some of the most devastating disasters in New Zealand’s history. In this New Zealand Disasters Unit, students will learn about eight historic and recent disasters and their effect upon Aotearoa. Through a range of activity options, students will extend their knowledge of these events. They will then apply this knowledge by exploring digital links, and put their own design skills to the test with creative challenges. Click here to see more.
Our New Zealand Geography, Kiwiana, and Reading Unit
If you ask your students to name some of the major symbols in New Zealand or “Kiwiana” culture, most could rattle off a few: gumboots, kiwifruit, L&P, hokey pokey ice-cream, pavlova, number 8 wire… and the list goes on. Ask those same students to point to where they live on a map and the likelihood of success is less! Our New Zealand Geography and Kiwiana Culture Unit helps you to explore New Zealand’s geography and Kiwiana culture with your students. Click here to see more.
Onwards and upwards,