Revisiting “Teaching CONTENT is Teaching READING!”


Between a rock and a hard place. Naomi's Photos
Between a rock and a hard place.
Naomi’s Photos

It’s that time of year again.

The finals are looming ahead and many of my students are taking the last reading comprehension exams of the year.

It’s the time of year when the connection between content knowledge and reading comprehension is highlighted in particularly bold colors.

After today’s exam I went back to Professor Daniel Willingham’s slideshow and nodded the whole time I watched. It may be from 2009 but it is still true. The students DO need to study Geography, Art, History, Science, Civics and Music! Focusing on reading comprehension skills without the background knowledge is not so effective.

Believe me. I battle with this lack of knowledge in class every day.

I would give other examples from those in the video (taken from recent lessons):

* Yes, devices that save energy ARE good for the environment. There IS a connection between the two.

* No, the first African-Americans did not walk from Africa to the United States (nor did they arrive with a tourist visa and decide to stay, by the way).

* To “give up tobacco” DOES mean that the person stopped smoking. Yes, dear student, there is tobacco inside of cigarettes.

Anyway, here’s the video.

The last bit is when I start shouting YES! YES! YES!.



2 thoughts on “Revisiting “Teaching CONTENT is Teaching READING!””

  1. Thanks so much for this post and video. So many teaching hours have many wasted, students frustrated and teachers reprimanded for low grades while inspectors tell them to keep drilling.

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