As an educator, are you often searching for instructional strategies that will improve your students’ reading skills? Here is one such strategy: immerse your students in reading multiple texts on common topics. Let’s examine the whys of this practice and how ThinkUp! ELAR can help you implement it in your classroom.

Why immerse students in reading multiple texts on common topics?

  • Students make connections as they link their learning from one text to another and to the world around them. Reading multiple texts affords them opportunities to make personal connections with the content. Making these text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-society connections during reading helps students retain the information they learn.
  • Students apply critical thinking skills as they notice similarities and differences among texts on common topics. They learn to recognize the need for additional information or sources on topics and to analyze how and why some authors present certain ideas using one style or technique while other authors use different styles or techniques.
  • Students are exposed to a wider variety of literary and informational genres and they develop a greater understanding of the elements of each genre. For example, they might read informational texts, biographies, and historical fiction relating to social studies topics.
  • Students are engaged as they dive deeper with each reading and focus on aspects of the topics they find interesting.

How can you implement this practice in your classroom?

Some reading researchers recommend sequencing texts by first introducing shorter and simpler texts on topics and then introducing more difficult texts on the same subjects.

Think Up! ELAR provides the perfect framework to implement this approach. Students will encounter shorter texts in the Guided Instruction and the Revising and Editing sections and longer, more complex pieces in the unit texts. Grades 3−8 include units that contain paired texts on common topics and themes. Literature Connection provides suggestions for texts related to the topics and themes of the unit texts that can be incorporated into instruction. With your guidance, students will notice the threads that connect the related texts and will apply critical thinking skills as they make connections and note similarities and differences among the texts.