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Top 10 Resources on Literacy in the Content Areas

Discover ways to support core literacy skills like vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and higher order thinking throughout content area instruction.
  1. Literacy in the Sciences

    Find activity sheets for parents (in English and Spanish), great science and math books for kids, articles about higher order thinking and building background knowledge, links to online science resources for children, PBS Kids science-themed shows, and more.

  2. Content Area Literacy: Individualizing Student Instruction in Second-Grade Science

    The individualized instruction described in this study incorporates flexible, homogeneous, literacy skills-based grouping, use of leveled science text, and explicit use of discussion and comprehension strategies.

  3. Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) Q&A

    What is Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) and how does it work? Find out more about CORI and how it helps children's comprehension and motivation through science inquiry.

  4. How to Increase Higher Order Thinking

    As students grow older, they are asked by their teachers to do more and more with the information they have stored in their brains. These types of requests require accessing higher order thinking. Here are some strategies to help foster children's complex thinking.

  5. Linking the Language: A Cross-Disciplinary Vocabulary Approach

    Rather than introducing a new word in isolation, teachers should introduce students to a rich variety of words that share the same root. This approach can help all students, including English language learners, make important connections among vocabulary words within the same family, and transfer core ideas across content areas.

  6. Developing Academic Language: Got Words?

    Concerns about how to build academic vocabulary and weave its instruction across the content areas are common among classroom teachers. This article reviews the research and offers some practical suggestions for teachers.

  7. Building World Knowledge: Motivating Children to Read and Enjoy Informational Text

    The three techniques described here (Text Impression, Guiding Questions, and the Retelling Pyramid) can help children become familiar with the language and structure of non-fiction books.

  8. Compare, Contrast, Comprehend: Using Compare-Contrast Text Structures with ELLs in K-3 Classrooms

    Learn how to teach students to identify the compare-contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension; use compare-contrast texts to activate and extend students' background knowledge; and use compare-contrast texts to help students expand and enrich their vocabulary.

  9. Family Literacy Bags: Adventures in Reading

    Our themed family literacy bags encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.

  10. Using Technology to Support Struggling Students: Science Literacy, Vocabulary and Discourse

    To be scientifically literate, students must be able to express themselves appropriately. Learn how to help struggling students master specific vocabulary and be able to use it in their science writing activities.

  11. Classroom Strategy: Jigsaw

    Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a "home" group to specialize in one aspect of a topic. For example, one group studies habitats of rainforest animals, another group studies predators of rainforest animals.

See all Content Area Teaching and Learning resources >

Reading Rockets (2011)


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I integrate cultural diversity in my life, by celebrating my love of reading.

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"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl