Content Area Literacy


Content area literacy refers to teaching students what they need to do to understand expository text and be able to read text books. The following skills need to be taught:


Text Structures: The following text structure are commonly used when write content area texts. However, no one structure is used by itself. Students can get a "feel" for the structure used but should be explicitly taught that authors are unable to and will not use one structure by itself. There needs to be lots of modeling for students as well as the use of graphic prganizers and other mapping structures that help students see the relationships between the specific parts of the text. The text structures are:

Relationship to Study Skills: Students needs to be taught how to isolate important information when reading content area texts or other expository text. The following strategies may be taught students:

Background Knowledge and Reading Pace: Help students understand that they nust adjust their reading pace wheb rading unfamiliar material. A simple strategy to demonstrate is:

Use strategies such as Ogle's K-W-L charts or other grahic organizers that support the process of activating background knowledge for unfamiliar material. [Note that if students do not have the background knowledge then you must build it through activities such as simulations, dramatic re-enactments, miming where students experience a feeling or situation and from these experiences will be able to have some idea about the topic.]