Content area reading is most simply, reading to learn. It encompasses all the skills and abilities required for a student to read the complex, informational text found typically in Social Studies, Science, and Math. The type of reading one does differs as the material begin read changes and because of this, different skills are required. Content area reading skills need to be explicitly taught, modeled, and practice in order to be most effective. Content area reading is most engaging when primary sources are used.
Objective: By the end of this video, viewers will have an understanding of a variety of strategies to use in order to explicitly instruct in reading while simultaneously teaching content.
Essential Question: How can I use best practices in reading instruction to teach content?
Questions to consider as you watch the video:
- How does Ms. Al-Hamdy hook her students interests at the beginning of the lesson?
- What primary sources does Ms. Al-Hamdy use and why?
- How does Ms. Al-Hamdy model and use meta-cognitive strategies during the teacher led (or I Do) portion of her lesson?
- What specific routines are evident during the pair reading portion of the lesson?
- How can I use different reading strategies when I teach content?
Tools & Templates for Reading in the Content Area:
- Professional Learning Implementation Tool- Reading in the Content Area
- Historical Thinking: ACPS document on Historical Thinking and Historical Reading Skills
- Content Area Reading Skills: A document listing skills readers of informative text need
- Primary sources are excellent tools for content area reading. Some great websites to find primary sources are: DocsTeach, SmithsonianSource, Library of Congress: Primary Source Sets, TeachingHistory.org
Texts on Reading in the Content Area:
- Web Post on Content Area Reading
- How Important is Teaching Literacy in All Content Areas blog post from Edutopia
- Engaging Students with Primary Sources is a fantastic document published by Smithsonian that includes information and guidance on how to use primary sources with students.
Have an idea or routine in your classroom for reading in the content area that you believe other teachers would benefit from learning about or seeing? Email PL, write “Reading in the Content Area” in the subject line.
Tools & Templates used in the Lesson:
Lesson Plan: Civil War