Happy Read Across America Day! This year is the 10-year anniversary of this national pep rally for reading, and IES has supported the development of a number of tools to promote reading and literacy.
Did you know that many of the curricula and materials developed by IES researchers are available for free? These materials include reading on topics interesting to students, as well as guidance for teachers on how to engage and motivate students in discussions about what they read. For example, as part of the Reading for Understanding Initiative, IES invested in multiple curricula that are designed to help improve students’ reading comprehension and are available at no charge.
For students in preschool through grade 3, the Let’s Know! curriculum supplement uses easily-accessible books to help teach children about vocabulary, making inferences, and text structures like cause and effect. There’s also a Spanish version of this curriculum (¡Vamos Aprender!). You can gain access to the curriculum through the Language and Reading Research Consortium webpage.
Word Generation is a group of curricula developed for students in grades four through eight with a focus on teaching students to understand multiple perspectives, reason, and learn academic vocabulary, all through high-interest topics in science and social studies.
Example topic questions from units include:
When is a crime not a crime?
The Legacy of Alexander the Great: Great Leader or Power-Hungry Tyrant? and
Thinking About Natural Selection.
You can find more information on WordGen and download materials on their website.
Finally, for high school students, Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text (PACT) is an intervention aimed at motivating and engaging students to read and understand informational texts in social studies. Students learn vocabulary words and make connections between social studies topics and their own lives. For example, in a unit about the 1920s, students learn about economy and prosperity and complete activities such as listing three items they have purchased and determining whether they are “needs” or “wants,” and how this relates to a consumer economy. Sample materials are available for download on the PACT website.
Have fun celebrating Read Across America Day, and enjoy a book with the students in your lives!
By Becky McGill-Wilkinson, NCER Program Officer