Total Literacy Techniques: Tools to Help Students Analyze Literature and Informational Texts

Total Literacy Techniques: Tools to Help Students Analyze Literature and Informational Texts

Total Literacy Techniques: Tools to Help Students Analyze Literature and Informational Texts

Total Literacy Techniques: Tools to Help Students Analyze Literature and Informational Texts

Synopsis

This book provides 3rd through 12th grade teachers with more than 50 tools and techniques for helping their students read independently and critically.

Excerpt

Perhaps the story in the book is just the lid on a pan: It always stays the
same, but underneath there’s a whole world that goes on.

—Inkheart (Funke, 2003, p. 1470)

Have you ever been lost in a really good book? So lost you didn’t even notice the type of vocabulary that the author used to draw you in, compelling you to read on well into the night, even though you should have gone to sleep long ago? Many students can’t experience the pleasure of being lost in a good book because of the intense focus that is necessary for them to successfully decode their way through the text. The frustration of repeatedly stumbling as they make their way through text will preclude any enjoyment students experience from reading. And aside from the misfortune of missing out on a great literary experience, this phenomenon has linguistic and academic implications that can negatively affect students’ academic growth throughout their entire academic careers.

In fact, without the prerequisite ingredients needed to get lost in a good book, we can forget all about the lofty goals we hope to accomplish through more rigorous and well-meaning standards that are related to students independently and critically reading grade-level literature and informational texts. Being able to do that still requires simple comprehension as a precursor to analysis and to using other higherorder thinking skills exercised in processing what was read.

To help many students make the crossover into deep reading will require a strategic scaffolding of students’ interactions with text, student-to-student interactions around text, and pointed support in effectively writing about the text. It will also require our carefully setting the stage for students to critically interpret what they read within the text. If we’re serious about providing all students with . . .

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