Teaching New Literacies in Grades 4-6: Resources for 21st-Century Classrooms

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Overview

Upper-elementary students encounter a sometimes dizzying array of traditional and nontraditional texts both in and outside of the classroom. This practical handbook helps teachers in grades 4-6 harness the instructional potential of fiction, poetry, and plays; informational texts; graphic novels; digital storytelling; Web-based and multimodal texts; hip-hop; advertisements; math problems; and many other types of texts. Twenty-four complete lessons promote critical literacy skills such as comprehending, analyzing, and synthesizing information and using writing to communicate new ideas and pose questions. Snapshots of diverse classrooms are accompanied by clear explanations of the research base for instruction in each genre. Ready-to-use reproducibles are included.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book moves beyond the basic curricular model of language arts, embracing authentic, purposeful, relevant areas of literacy that are typically overlooked. Classroom teachers, literacy coaches, and university professors alike will be able to find a place for this well laid-out text and the resources and expertise it provides. Examples of innovative and dynamic lessons will make it easy for classroom teachers to apply their new learning with ease. I was so energized that I immediately began sharing information from the book with my intermediate teachers."—Cate Stallmeyer-Gerard, MEd, CAS, Literacy Coach, Barkstall Elementary School, Champaign, Illinois
 

"A valuable resource for upper-elementary and intermediate teachers. The book provides a wealth of useful, research-based information and lessons that will assist educators in their quest of improving student comprehension and learning in the ever-changing world of literacy. This is a resource teachers can pick up, trust, and utilize immediately."—Carrie Wessman, MS, fourth-grade teacher, Bruce, Wisconsin
 

"Very timely. Inservice and preservice teachers need to know how to help students engage meaningfully and critically with multiple forms of text. Moss and Lapp offer a rich and accessible blend of instructional practices and curriculum integration that will enable teachers and students to expand their understanding of new literacies and connect with current technologies. This book is a comprehensive companion to turn to time and again."—Gustave Weltsek, PhD, Department of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, Indiana University
 

"A fabulous book! So many upper-elementary teachers have a difficult time engaging students in literacy because they only use trade books and textbooks for instruction. But this book shows that a variety of texts, from comics to hip hop lyrics to advertisements, can be used effectively for literacy instruction. Teachers will find the lessons in this book easy to use and supported by a strong research base. What is very exciting about the book is its emphasis on content literacy. Any teacher who has wondered how to thoughtfully integrate literacy into math, science, and social studies lessons, and make connections with students’ interests and lives, should buy this book! As a teacher educator, I see this volume as a wonderful resource for the new and experienced teachers in my courses, as well as for professional development workshops in schools. The lessons are very solid and would be useful both for students who need to 'see' the inner workings of good literacy instruction and for veteran teachers looking for fresh ideas and texts."—Jennifer D. Turner, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Barbara Moss, PhD, is Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. She has taught English and language arts in elementary, middle, and high school settings, and has worked as a reading supervisor and coach. Her research focuses on issues related to the teaching of informational texts at the elementary and secondary levels. Dr. Moss has served in leadership roles in the International Reading Association and has published numerous journal articles, columns, book chapters, and books.

Diane Lapp, EdD, is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. She has taught elementary and middle school and currently works as an 11th- and 12th-grade English teacher. Her research and instruction focus on issues related to struggling readers and writers who live in economically deprived urban settings, and their families and teachers. Dr. Lapp has published numerous journal articles, columns, chapters, books, and children’s materials. She has received the International Reading Association’s Outstanding Teacher Educator of the Year award, among other honors, and is a member of both the California and the International Reading Halls of Fame.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction Barbara Moss Diane Lapp 1

Part I Teaching the Genres

2 Transforming Traditional Tales to Improve Comprehension and Composition Terrell A. Young Laura Tuiaea Barbara A. Ward 13

3 Every Story Has a Problem: How to Improve Student Narrative Writing in Grades 4-6 Sue Dymock Tom Nicholson 26

4 Teaching Poetry Claudia Dybdahl Tammy Black 43

5 Using Readers' Theater to Engage Students with Drama Regina M. Rees 59

6 Teaching Journalistic Style: A Newspaper Genre Study Nancy Frey Douglas Fisher 73

7 Using Procedural Texts and Documents to Develop Functional Literacy in Students: The Key to Their Future in a World of Words Martha D. Collins Amy B. Horton 86

8 Going Beyond Opinion: Teaching Elementary Students to Write Persuasively Dana L. Grisham Cheryl Wozniak Thomas Devere Wolsey 98

9 Reading Biography: Evaluating Information across Texts Barbara Moss Diane Lapp 112

Part II Teaching Other Genres

10 Using Comic Literature with Older Students Chris Wilson 125

11 Using Primary-Source Documents and Digital Storytelling as a Catalyst for Writing Historical Fiction in the Fourth Grade Carol J. Fuhler 136

12 No Stripping Allowed: Reading and Writing Political Cartoons James Bucky Carter Kelly Lynn Carter 151

13 Hip-Hop Photo Song: Self-Expressing through Hip-Hop as Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Nadjwa E. L. Norton 168

14 Exploring High-Stakes Tests as a Genre Charles Fuhrken Nancy Roser 186

15 Reading a Science Experiment: Deciphering the Language of Scientists Maria C. Grant 199

16 Reading + Mathematics = SUCCESS: Using Literacy Strategies to Enhance Problem-Solving Skills Mary Lou Dipillo 208

17 Promoting Literacythrough Visual Aids: Teaching Students to Read Graphs, Maps, Charts, and Tables Paola Pilonieta Karen Wood D. Bruce Taylor 219

18 Critically Reading Advertisements: Examining Visual Images and Persuasive Language Lori Czop Assaf Alina Adonyi 233

19 Reading Web-Based Electronic Texts: Using Think-Alouds to Help Students Begin to Understand the Process Christine A. Mckeon 245

20 Developing Critical Literacy: Comparatively Reading Multiple Text Sources in a Sixth-Grade Classroom Jesse Gainer 258

Part III Crafting the Genre

21 Using Written Response for Reading Comprehension of Literary Text Evangeline Newton Ruth Oswald Todd Oswald 273

22 Reading Persuasive Texts Thomas Devere Wolsey Cheryl Pham Dana L. Grisham 284

23 Writing a Biography: Creating Powerful Insights into History and Personal Lives Dorothy Leal 297

24 Monumental Ideas for Teaching Report Writing through a Visit to Washington, DC Susan K. Leone 310

25 Writing Summaries of Expository Text Using the Magnet Summary Strategy Laurie Elish-Piper Susan R. Hinrichs 327

26 Conclusion: Looking Back, Looking Forward Diane Lapp Barbara Moss 341

Index 345

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