Through the Maryland
School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP), reading processes have
been identified as critical for success in all content areas. Teaching
reading is an integral part of all content areas: “Every teacher must
be a reading teacher” (Billmeyer, 1996).
Is Reading Important in the Content Areas?
concern teachers express is that students do not have the skills to
read and comprehend content-based text. Therefore, content area
teachers need to be skilled in content-based reading strategies (Billmeyer,
needed depend on the content and text. Content teachers are best
qualified to help students comprehend the material presented by
developing prior knowledge related to the topic.
all teachers provide reading opportunities for students, students
will be better prepared to meet identified standards in all areas.
knowledge and content provide an essential link between what
students understand and what they read (Anthony and Raphael, 1989).
Can All Teachers Do to Help Readers?
Teachers may wish to
consider utilizing the following techniques and strategies in teaching
reading in their content area:
Instruction - Design
lessons using a before, during, and after format in which reading is
a significant component.
to Reading - Have
students respond to stance questions in writing, providing support
from the text.
Vocabulary - Aid
understanding of content terms through context clues, word
structure, and semantic features.
(QAR) - Help students to understand how to develop
responses to questions and provide textual support.
a Reader's Checklist - Articulate strategies for
reading that students can refer to before, during, and after
Aloud - Model mental
processes that expert readers use as they read.
Guide - Give students a
series of questions to generate interest in the topic.
- Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review.
Teaching - Summarize,
question, clarify, and predict content and meaning.
- Explore what students know before and what they want to know
before and during reading; review what they learned after reading.
Text Structure - Teach the fundamental differences
between expository and narrative materials.
Prior Knowledge -
Develop unfamiliar concepts, experiences, and vocabulary prior to
- Provide many reading opportunities related to
to Instructional Strategies Page