A Handbook of Content Area Reading Strategies

ABSTRACT A HANDBOOK OF CONTENT AREA READING STRATEGIES by © Heather Robyn Azevedo 2009 Master of Arts in Education Reading/Language Arts Option California State University, Chico Summer 2009 This project is designed to help content area teachers assist the students in their class that are currently two to four grade levels behind in reading and build sufficient literacy skills to be able to succeed in those classes. The project contains an annotated bibliography identifying resources in content area literacy, and strategies suggested by research to decrease the overall reading gap between student’s current level of reading performance and the reading requirements of content area classes. The review of the literature provides a rationale for the development of a competent content area literacy program. In Chapter II the literature describes the reading process and how teaching reading differs throughout grade levels and Chapter III examines reading strategies and how they can be applied within the content areas. In x addition, it provides further reviews of methods for teaching content reading skills that recent research recommends. This project was created based on the information obtained from the literature review, and the data collected which provided evidence of those students who are currently reading two to four grades levels below the reading level expectations for their content area classes. The literature, data, and collaboration with content area teachers indicated that there was a need for additional reading support within the content areas. In order to assist these students, this handbook is intended to be used to assist teachers and other staff, which provides students with strategies that are easily and readily applied to their content area reading requirements. The handbook is divided into three sections: an annotated bibliography, a description of reading/thinking skills, and nine universal strategies for assisting students with their content areas reading requirements. The research portion of the handbook is an annotated bibliography meant to serve as additional reference for the teacher who may want to further explore content reading strategies beyond those provided in the handbook associated with this project. The reading/thinking section of the handbook is designed to illustrate the skills that students need to use before, during, after and beyond reading as well as explaining the importance of this process and how these skills make students more conscious of their reading. The final section includes nine universal strategies that can be used within the content areas. A brief background of each strategy will be given, along with the purpose of the strategy. This segment will then be followed with examples of how the strategy can be used within each content area. xi Recommendations for further development of this handbook include continued review of current literature, maintaining suggested strategies and diagnostic information throughout each school year in order to be assured that student needs are being addressed. It is also suggested that primary and elementary teachers who have students reading below grade level, and who need to develop content reading skills, refer to the handbook for some additional support and strategies.