National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) recently published an article written by alumna Anne Elsener, Ph.D. ’01 entitled, “Content Area Literacy Instruction in Elementary Classrooms.” In the article, Elsener tested a lesson focused on integrating content area literacy instructions into all subject areas.
“What would your life be like if your job was to capture dangerous snakes found in homes and businesses?”
This is the question Elsener asked a classroom of fourth graders as they read Rattle Snake Rustlers by Catherine Clark Fox.
Elsener had the students make a two-columned chart with one column labeled “Questions” and the other labeled “New Thinking.” As they read, the students stopped often to list many questions on Post Its™ and stick them in their “Questions” column.
As they learned the answers to the question, through their reading and discussion, they moved the Post Its™ to their “New Thinking” column.
“I guided the students to use the comprehensive strategies of asking questions about information in texts and synthesizing their thinking about a topic as new information is encountered,” said Elsener. “Content area literacy instruction in the elementary grades can support students to become more strategic and motivated readers of informational texts in learning new information,” she continued.
Anne Elsener, Ph.D.,’01 is an assistant professor of education specializing in literacy education, in the School of Education at the Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She is a member of the Teacher Education Committee and serves as liaison between the School of Education and the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences departments.
NCEA is a voluntary association of educators and institutions. NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world, representing 200,000 Catholic educators serving 7.6 million students in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, in religious education programs, in seminaries, and in colleges and universities.