Jacobs Secondary school teachers are more willing to integrate reading and writing strategies in their content-area instruction when they see how these strategies can support their goals for students' understanding. One reason is an understandable reluctance among secondary school teachers to think of themselves as reading or writing teachers. Secondary school teachers rightfully consider themselves first and foremost teachers of such content areas as science, history, and mathematics.
Holloway How do schools and school districts respond to the ever-increasing challenge of meeting state and national standards in the content areas, while at the same time improving students' literacy skills?
Considerable research supports the integration of reading and content-area instruction. For instance, Akerson argues that connecting language arts to elementary school science instruction makes sense because many elementary school teachers' strengths are in language arts.
In addition, she contends that elementary students need to read, write, and communicate about something, and science can provide that purpose. Akerson also agrees with Yore, Craig, and Maguire when they point out that the reading process parallels the process of scientific inquiry: Both areas require skills in questioning and setting a purpose, analyzing and drawing conclusions, and communicating results.
Draper believes that, as in science, students cannot be fully prepared in mathematics unless they are skilled in understanding the text. She contends that literacy activities can engage students and teachers in conversations around mathematical texts.
To keep mathematics within the reach of all students, teachers must help their students make meaning from the text. Johnson and Giorgis have investigated the process of integrating literature and reading into other content areas.
They feel that reading in the content areas motivates students to read. For instance, reading in geography can focus on areas that interest young learners, using such informational books as atlases and fictional stories that contain narrative text. Guthrie and his colleagues have investigated the effects of integrated reading instruction on reading achievement in the upper elementary grades 4—6.
Using findings from a study of teachers in 33 schools in Maryland, they found that when students had more opportunities to read and teachers integrated literacy instruction in the content areas, the result was increased reading comprehension, conceptual knowledge, problem-solving skills in science, and motivation to read.
Chittenden, Salinger, and Bussis believe integrated reading should begin before the 4th grade. Although the importance of learning to read in the early grades is emphasized more than any other single topic, too little is said about the enabling purpose of this skill. Not until the later grades does there begin to be expressed concern about children's ability to learn from reading; that is, to read widely and deeply in expository as well as narrative texts.
Yet the study amply documents that beginning readers can and do extend their knowledge from meaningful books. If children do not encounter meaningful content in books until the 3rd or 4th grade, the major message they may be learning in the meantime is that reading lacks purpose.
The strategy integrated reading, talking, and writing in the content areas. It engaged students in different levels of discussion as they read the text, gathered and interpreted information, and then wrote about their interpretations. Doing this taught them ways to extend and share their ideas with others.
The symbiotic relationship between reading and content should not be limited to the elementary or middle school students. She discovered that students who had learned to summarize did significantly better than a control group on such measures as identifying important concepts, excluding un-important concepts, and constructing the thesis of the article.
In addition to summarizing, Sinatra found that concept mapping helps readers gain a greater understanding of the content by helping them formulate mental plans of comprehending and composing as they read and write.
By teaching students to understand text organization plans, content-area teachers enable students to cover meaningful content topics in greater depth and to connect new knowledge with prior knowledge. The examples cited here reflect a general consensus throughout the research literature: We should not overlook the obvious benefits of integrating literacy skills in the content areas.
This approach produces stronger readers who possess a greater understanding of content knowledge.
The benefits are found throughout the K curriculum.The strategy integrated reading, talking, and writing in the content areas.
It engaged students in different levels of discussion as they read the text, gathered and interpreted information, and then wrote about their interpretations. Writing regularly, in all subject areas but especially in math, social studies, and science is going to be crucial.” What Is Writing Across the Curriculum?
Writing Across the Curriculum is a movement that began in the s and is gaining a lot of attention these days. The Interrelation Among Reading, Writing, and Understanding Staff Development Most inservice programs on reading and writing across the curriculum offer teachers a variety of strategies for integrating reading or writing into their content-based instruction.
Writing Across the Curriculum Click To Find: English Language Arts Social Studies Science The Arts ⇒ Mathematics. What are some ways that we can gauge vocabulary development in the content areas?
In this article, the authors explain how the intricacies of word knowledge make assessment difficult, particularly with content area vocabulary. They suggest ways to improve assessments that more precisely track students' vocabulary growth across the curriculum, including English language.
INCORPORATING WRITING INTO THE CONTENT AREA CLASSROOM. Does all writing have to end with a final, published work? Writing can be done for many different purposes, only some of which culminate in a final, published work.