Pub. Date:
Prentice Hall
Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 4 / Edition 2

Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 4 / Edition 2

by Gail E. Tompkins


Current price is , Original price is $109.0. You
Select a Purchase Option (REV)
  • purchase options


Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 4 / Edition 2

Based on a parent book that is the best-selling literacy read on the market, this new volume addresses strategies for teaching reading and writing to children from Preschool to Grade 4. The author provides a solid foundation in the content of literacy instruction—phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—liberally spiced with her trademark 'minilessons' and replete with children's writing samples. Included are a wealth of age-appropriate assessment tools, authentic classroom activities, and illustrative examples of how effective teachers engage children in preschool through primary grades in the captivating act of reading and writing. For practicing elementary school teachers seeking to improve their techniques for providing individual attention, assessment, and evaluation of student reading skills.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780132277211
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Publication date: 07/07/2006
Edition description: REV
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 10.06(h) x 0.62(d)

Table of Contents

Part I: How Do Children Learn to Read and Write?

1. Becoming an Effective Teacher of Reading

2. Examining Children's Literacy Development

3. Assessing Children's Literacy Development

Part II: What are the Components of Literacy Instruction?

4. Breaking the Alphabetic Code

5. Learning to Spell

6. Developing Fluent Readers and Writers

7. Expanding Children's Knowledge of Words

8. Guiding Children's Comprehension: Reader Factors

9. Guiding Children’s Comprehension: Text Factors

Part III: How do Teachers Organize Literacy Instruction?

10. Scaffolding Children's Reading Development

11. Scaffolding Children's Writing Development

12. Integrating Reading and Writing into Thematic Units

Part IV: Compendium of Instructional Approaches


Helping children become literate is one of the greatest challenges facing teachers today. As some teachers and researchers tout and defend one approach after another, parents are frightened that the new instructional methods aren't getting the job done. The media fuels the controversy with reports lamenting low test scores and criticism that many schools are failing to produce literate citizens who can function competently.

I have written this textbook to blaze a pathway toward implementing a thoughtful, balanced approach to teaching reading and writing in the early grades, a pathway that incorporates the most effective teaching approaches and strategies.

Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 4 builds on the research-based approaches to literacy instruction outlined in Literacy for the 21st Century, the most popular reading methods text in the market, but focuses squarely on the issues, concerns, and opportunities involved in teaching children in pre-kindergarten through grade 4.

I created this text for core literacy courses that have been split to meet a growing demand for credentialing teachers with more in-depth knowledge of early literacy strategies, aiming to provide a solid foundation for teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This comprehensive text presents sound approaches to literacy instruction and guides teachers toward best practice in teaching skills as well as strategies. The principles of effective reading instruction outlined in Chapter 1 provide a strong, easily understood foundation for the entire book. I have culled and createdminilessons and assessment tools geared specifically toward assessing and teaching PreK-4 skills; the authentic classroom activities and student artifacts include spotlights on primary teachers who illustrate how they plan for and engage their students in literacy activities; and PreK margin notes address the specific concerns of this audience of learners.


My goal in this text is to show beginning teachers how to teach reading and writing effectively in the early grades, how to create a classroom climate where literacy flourishes, and how to empower the diverse array of young children in today's classrooms to function competently as literate adults in the twenty-first century. To that end, I have based the text on four contemporary theories of literary learning: constructivist, interactive, socio-linguistic, and reader response theories.

Readers will learn how to implement a reading program with skills and strategies taught in context using a whole-part-whole organizational approach. The approach I take can, I believe, best be described as balanced and comprehensive. You will learn how to teach vital skills and strategies within the context of authentic reading and writing experiences. I have carefully selected the principles, skills, strategies, and examples of literature that will empower the beginning teachers to get up to speed quickly with their young readers. In creating this textbook, I used knowledge I gleaned from a host of teachers who have been students in my beginning reading course over the years, and I also sifted through the array of practices and procedures proven effective in today's classrooms and with today's diverse student populations. Although there are many other useful ideas and strategies that can accomplish the goal of producing literate students, I have deliberately and painstakingly chosen research-based, classroom-tested ideas-the best of the best-as the focus of this textbook.


These special features increase the effectiveness of the text and address the most current resources in the field of literacy.

Instructional Procedures

The easily accessible Compendium of Instructional Procedures following Chapter 12 offers clearly articulated instructional methods, an invaluable resource and quick reference.

Real Classrooms

My texts have always been grounded in real classroom teaching and learning. I want readers to feel as at home in their own classrooms as possible, so I provide as many examples from real classrooms as I can, to model best practice and teacher decision-making.

  • Spotlights look closely at individual students and teachers, including student artifacts and an analysis of each student's strengths and weaknesses, highlighting individual attention, assessment and evaluation, and the best teaching practices while emphasizing a focus on struggling readers and English language learners.
  • Starting with Chapter 2, I begin each chapter with a vignette in which you will see how a real teacher teaches the topic addressed in the chapter. These vignettes are rich and detailed, with chapter-opening photos, dialogue, student writing samples, and illustrations. Readers will be drawn into the story of literacy instruction in a real classroom as they build background and activate prior knowledge about the chapter's topic. Throughout the chapter, I refer readers to the vignette so that they can apply the concepts they are reading about and make connections to the world of practice.
  • The CD-ROM, the CD margin notes, and the CD insert all provide concrete illustrations of real classroom teaching and connections between chapter content and teaching.


I have taken an integrated approach to technology in this text, highlighting resources and applications within the text and including technological resources as part of the text package.

CD-ROM. A free CD comes with my text. The CD, Primary Grades Literacy: A K-3 Integrated Unit on Insects, contains footage of a master teacher in her early grades reading and writing classroom. You will have the opportunity to observe the classroom footage, hear from the teacher and students involved, listen to my feedback, and consider the research behind the teacher's decisions.

  • Margin notes throughout the text serve to link specific chapter content with that of the CD.
  • A full-color insert walks you through using the CD to the fullest.

Technology Links: Readers will learn about innovative uses of technology in teaching reading and writing through the Technology Links. Among the topics I present in these special features are screen reading using captioned text on television to develop reading fluency and interactive electronic books on CD-ROM to teach high-frequency words and phonics skills.

Companion Website: Providing more ways to use technology effectively as a teaching tool, the Companion Website offers opportunities for self-assessment; analysis, synthesis and application of concepts; regularly updated links to web addresses; and special information for teachers required to pass state tests in teaching reading in order to obtain credentials.

  • Margin notes throughout the text highlight Internet websites that provide resources that readers might use to extend their learning and read the most up-to-date information about phonics, phonemic awareness, guided reading, interactive writing, fluency, comprehension, literature circles, and other literacy topics. Links to these sites are found on the Companion Website.

English Language Learners

Throughout the text are ELL margin notes specifying which strategies and methods are most appropriate for English language learners and how to adapt teaching to benefit all students.

Pre-kindergarten Learners

PreK margin notes make clear the most appropriate strategies and adaptations for that age range.


This feature presents clear information showing how to teach skills and strategies within the PreK-4 reading and writing classrooms.


Assessment Resources: These features in Chapter 3 list tests and other assessments that can be used to gauge students' reading level and their progress in learning to read and write.

Assessment Tools: These figures in most chapters provide samples of tools used in classrooms to assess student understanding and learning.


Companion Website: This text-specific website featuring chapter overviews, self assessments, links to sites highlighted in the text, and a threaded message board to promote student dialogue with a national audience, is available.

CD-ROM. Containing classroom footage, this free supplement allows users to view, examine, and manipulate clips of PreK-4 literacy classroom teaching, ideal for reflection and developing a deep, lasting understanding of text content.

Video: Free to adopters, the video Guidelines for Reading Comprehension Instruction contains footage of Gail Tompkins providing guidance for preservice and inservice literacy teachers.

Instructor's Manual: This useful tool provides additional support for instructors, including test questions and online integration.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews