Content-Area Literacy

Bioethics, Informed Consent, and Open Networks: The Story of Bioethics Day

Author: Jennifer Smyth Summary: This collection of materials, inspired by a shared reading in English and Biology classes of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, describes the planning and presentation of Bioethics Day as a “day of learning” for students from three high schools. The materials include explanatory videos and...

Finding Support for Teaching Civic Literacy Skills in the Common Core Standards

Author: Nicole Mirra Summary: Rather than viewing civic education as a particular body of knowledge, belonging in social studies class, Mirra argues that civic literacy is a set of skills that can be incorporated throughout the curriculum, reinforcing Common Core standards along the way.

Real World History: Six Videos that Model and Inspire

Summary: Looking for ways to involve high school students in using historical tools to craft arguments and make personal connections to current issues? These six short NWP-produced videos spotlight Real World History, a high school course that frames history as an argument about the past and teaches students to think...

Historical Fiction in English and Social Studies Classrooms: Is It a Natural Marriage?

Author: KaaVonia Hinton, Yonghee Suh, Lourdes Colón-Brown, and Maria O’Hearn Summary: What happens when history and ELA teachers form a study group to develop understandings of disciplinary literacy and ways this new knowledge might affect each person’s practice? As members read and reflected together on historical fiction and nonfiction, they...

Teaching Reading: A Semester of Inquiry

Author: Antero Garcia Summary: Acknowledging that, in these early years of the digital age, “literacies are changing . . . a lot,” Antero Garcia notes that this “is a resource of a specific moment.” Student projects, blog posts, discussions, and more from Garcia’s course “Teaching Reading,” in which he and...

The Story of SCORE: The Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute Takes on a Statewide Reading Initiative

Author: Lynette Herring-Harris and Cassandria Hansbrough Summary: The SCORE monograph (Secondary Content Opening to Reading Excellence) from the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute offers an overview of programming for content area teachers as part of a statewide reading initiative. A useful resource for teacher leaders, the monograph includes a rich description of...

Book Review: English Learners, Academic Literacy, and Thinking: Learning in the Challenge Zone

Author: Debra Schneider Summary: How can we best support English learners in classrooms where rigorous curricula focus on intellectual practices across content areas? How can we engage in practices that enable students to construct rather than reproduce knowledge, develop deep understanding of disciplinary knowledge and forge connections between school and...

Expressive Writing in the Science Classroom

Author: John Dorroh Summary: In this account of expressive writing in the science classroom, teacher John Dorroh introduces writing to build students’ curiosity, inviting them to wonder, to ask questions, and to imagine. In the process Dorroh wrestles with the issue of assessment and also demonstrates the importance of teacher-as-writer...

Joined at the Hip: The Joys and Travails of Teaching “Linked” Courses

Author: Matthew Teorey Summary: This article features one university’s program offering “Freshman Learning Communities” in which two instructors from different disciplines work together developing curriculum by coordinating two sets of complementary readings and assignments. In this cross-disciplinary approach, a community environment helps the students succeed in their freshman year. The...

Building Culturally Responsive Units of Study: From Texas to Mexico and Back

Author: Katie McKay Summary: By crafting units of study that cast immigration as part of the American historical process, a teacher-consultant at the Heart of Texas Writing Project creates opportunities for her bilingual fourth-graders to explore immigration in a trusting and productive classroom environment. This article can support discussions about...