Disciplinary literacy and complex texts

The activities in this collection focus on disciplinary literacy across ELA, history, and science.  Participants will deepen their understanding on disciplinary literacy and scaffolds for students to access complex texts through close reading and collaborative annotation.  

In this series of activities, participants will:  

  • develop strategies for teaching students how to read like a literary critic, historian, or scientist 
  • deepen understanding of what close reading is
  • learn how to engage students in close reading and collaborative annotation and scaffolds to support diverse learners
  • plan next steps around the new learnings from activities above

Included Resources

This presentation (including facilitation notes) can be used to lead participants through activities focused on the following question:  What does it mean to read like a literary critic, historian, or scientist?

After this presentation and activities, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what it means to read like a literary critic, historian, or scientist
  • Deepen their understanding of close reading
  • Engage in strategies that support close reading and collaborative annotation
  • Provide scaffolds for students to access complex text

This research article can be used in activity 1 (ELA) as the basis for participants' understanding of what it means to read like a literary critic.

This graphic organizer can be used by participants to capture their thoughts in activity 1 (ELA).

This graphic organizer can be used by participants in activity 1 (ELA) to connect the reading skills of a literary critic to the Common Core Learning Standards in ELA/Literacy. 

This research article can be used in activity 1 (Science) as the basis for participants' understanding of what it means to read like a scientist.

This graphic organizer can be used by participants to capture their thoughts in activity 1 (Science).

This graphic organizer can be used by participants in activity 1 (Science) to connect the reading skills of a scientist to the Common Core Learning Standards in ELA/Literacy. 

This research article can be used in activity 1 (History/Social Studies) as the basis for participants' understanding of what it means to read like an historian.

This graphic organizer can be used by participants to capture their thoughts in activity 1 (History/Social Studies).

This graphic organizer can be used by participants in activity 1 (Social studies/history) to connect the reading skills of a an historian to the Common Core Learning Standards in Literacy. 

This document contains myths on close reading from Tim Shanahan’s blog.  These quotes can be printed out and cut into individual quotes and placed at each table as a part of the Block Party activity.

This document provides an exmplanation of how to set up and run a collaboration annotation, which is used to engage in a close reading process and have students engage in a written conversation about a compelling complex text.. 

This graphic organizer can be used by participants when debriefing the collaborative annotation activity. 

This text, Letters to a Young Poet: Letter #1 by Rilke, can be used by ELA teachers during the Collaborative Annotation activity.

This text, exerpted from Death Rays, Jet Packs, Stunts and Supercars: The Fantastic Physics of Film's Most Celebrated Secret Agent by Barry Parker, can be used by science participants during the Collaborative Annotation activity.

This text, A History of the World in 100 Objects: Early Victorian Tea Sets by Neil MacGregor, can be used by Social Studies participants during the Collaborative Annotation activity. 

This graphic organizer can be used by participants during the Force Field Analysis activity.