Literacy in the Disciplines : A Teacher's Guide for Grades 5-12 book cover
1st Edition

Literacy in the Disciplines
A Teacher's Guide for Grades 5-12

  • This format cannot be shipped to your selected country.
ISBN 9781462527922
Published November 4, 2016 by Guilford Press
230 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book gives all teachers in grades 5-12 practical strategies for building the unique literacy skills that students need for success in their respective subject areas. Drawing from interviews with leading educators and professionals in science, mathematics, history, the arts, and other disciplines, the authors explain what disciplinary literacy is and discuss ways to teach close reading of complex texts, discipline-specific argumentation skills, academic vocabulary, the use of multimodal tools and graphic organizers, and more. User-friendly features include classroom materials, lesson plans, practice activities, and recommended online teaching videos. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the book's 20 reproducible forms in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

Table of Contents

I. The Literacy of the Disciplines
1. What Is Disciplinary Literacy?
2. What Are the Literacy Demands of Experts in the Disciplines?: Talking with Scientists, Historians, Mathematicians, Authors of Fiction, Musicians, Artists, Athletes, and Technical Experts
II. Literacy Instruction in the Disciplines
3. Saying It Well: Instruction That Supports Academic Language Development in the Disciplines
4. Choosing the Right Words: Instruction That Supports Academic Vocabulary Use in the Disciplines
5. Arguing It Well: Instruction That Supports Communication in the Disciplines
6. Reading It Carefully: Instruction That Supports Reading in the Disciplines
7. Reading It Closely: Instruction That Supports Close Reading in the Disciplines
8. Writing It Down: Instruction That Supports Writing in the Disciplines
III. Routines That Support Learning in the Disciplines
9. Organizing It Well: Using Graphic Organizers in the Disciplines
10. Presenting It Well: Using Multimodal Tools in the Disciplines
11. Conclusion: Looking Forward

View More



Thomas DeVere Wolsey, EdD, teaches online courses at Portland State University and elsewhere and is the founder of a consulting firm, the Institute to Advance International Education. Previously he worked in public schools for 20 years teaching English and social studies. His research explores how language informs thinking about content and how the interactions of students in digital and face-to-face environments change their learning. Dr. Wolsey is also interested in the intersections of traditional literacies with digital literacies, specifically focusing on how those literacies affect teacher preparation and professional development.

Diane Lapp, EdD, is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school and serves as Director of Learning at Health Sciences High and Middle College. 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. Widely published, Dr. Lapp has received the Outstanding Teacher Educator of the Year Award from the International Literacy Association, among other honors, and is a member of both the International Reading Hall of Fame and the California Reading Hall of Fame.


"These days teachers are often told of the importance of reading like historians, scientists, literary critics, and so on. And yet, these admonitions rarely are accompanied by any explanation of how to support this kind of reading in a classroom. Wolsey and Lapp fill this breach admirably with this very practical guide on the teaching of disciplinary literacy."--Timothy Shanahan, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Reading Literacy in the Disciplines is like transforming from 20/50 to 20/20 vision. The engaging visuals, lively interviews, and imaginative activities provide teachers with a uniquely appetizing reading experience. Like literacy instruction at its most engaging and effective, the book inspires teachers to ask questions as we construct meaning and explore the rich landscape of disciplinary literacies--from music and medicine to finance and the outdoors. The only danger in perusing this book is that it may leave your bag of teaching tricks overflowing with possibilities."--Patrick Ganz, MAT, English teacher, Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

"Wolsey and Lapp present a pragmatic, informative approach to literacy in the disciplines, supported by ample evidence. Authentic instructional examples demonstrate that we do not have to choose between content knowledge and literacy. The book invites us to embrace teaching reading, writing, and communication in ways that produce knowledge in the disciplines."--Vicky Zygouris-Coe, PhD, College of Education and Human Performance, University of Central Florida

"This book presents a thoughtful and balanced examination of how to best support literacy in the disciplines. Wolsey and Lapp move past the artificial controversy surrounding content-area versus disciplinary literacy. They provide a highly readable, research-based approach for teachers who want to help their students develop the literacy habits that are important to different disciplines. With ready-to-use materials, this volume will be a terrific addition to secondary literacy courses and to professional learning endeavors."--Dianna Townsend, EdD, College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno