What does literacy look like in my content area?

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Literacy is…

  • not teaching kids how to read and write but how to learn from reading and writing
  • being critical consumers of information
  • the job of every teacher
  • ever evolving
  • critical

Teaching kids tools to improve literacy across contents will be essential in preparing students for life’s next steps beyond high school. I am challenged by educators who struggle with how to teach kids reading and writing to learn. It is not an easy question to answer. In efforts to provide concrete examples, strategies and tools, I have compiled some examples of ways to integrate literacy into elective areas. Many of these strategies can be cross curricular and used in all course areas. I chose the elective areas because there are a lack of resources making content literacy tangible for elective teachers. My hope is that this will help clarify and support literacy in all classrooms. Please adapt, modify, or throw out the examples below, but do teach literacy in your content area.

Industrial Arts (Woodworking)
Analyze a manual for readability
Develop technical vocabulary journals using Marzano’s vocab strategies
Write technical directions for a project
Write a technical guide
Draw and label a diagram of a project

Financial Literacy (Accounting, personal finance, business, economics, marketing, etc.)
Understanding taxes
Analyze and interpret tax code that may impact students
Article of the week (Gallagher strategy) exploring current issues impacting personal finance (NY Times)
Your Life , Your Money– lessons exploring debt, saving, etc.
An online magazine- Young Money

Nutrition, Food Science, Health Sciences
Identify propaganda, subliminal messaging and bias in food commercials (Got Milk, McDonalds, Subway.)
-What does it say?/What does it not say? (Gallagher strategy)
Compare two ingredients that are commonly found in food- Sugar vs. Splenda
Article of the week (Gallagher strategy) exploring current issues (NY Times, IMag Nutrition, complete list of online food magazines and food newspaper sections)
Charting calories
Writing a recipe and instructions

Physical Education
Article of the week (Gallagher strategy) exploring current health and wellness news (Student Health 101NY Times)
Chart calorie intake, physical fitness stats, strength gains, etc. and summarize predictions or reflections
Physical Education and Literacy — The Odd Couple or a Match Made in Heaven?
Students conduct research comparing the impact of exercises on heart rate in class summarizing results

Fine Arts
Analyze Author or composer’s voice
Read a painting
Compare works of a time period, from an artist/composer, or a specific medium
Title a piece of artwork or music and support your title.
Develop vocabulary using Marzano’s vocab strategy
Interview an artist or musician
Comment or respond to a blog, photograph, etc. online

Technology
Article of the week (Gallagher strategy) exploring current trends in technology ( PC Magazine, Discover Magazine, TechSpot)
Show movie clips and have students reflect- Digital Footprints and Digital Shadows
Coding
Analyze a 3 websites with common content to determine the best site and defend your recommendation

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