Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why Your Students Should be Reading Informational Texts

Recent studies show that what kids read is nearly as important as how much they read.  There is a broad consensus among educators that students should begin reading informational texts in a broad range of subjects from the earliest grades.  

"The clearest differentiator in reading between students who are college ready and students who are not is the ability to comprehend complex texts," ACT researchers concluded.
The global economy has also been cited as a reason to emphasize non-fiction. “Research shows that workplace reading has become more complex in recent years," says Lisa Cebelak of the Leadership and Learning Center, a consulting division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. "Jobs that demand low reading and writing skills are being sent overseas, so even entry level workplace jobs now demand higher level reading skills."
Some experts argue that non-fiction reading teaches kids how to develop more complex thinking. In his article “Too Dumb for Complex Texts,”  Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein explains why this type of reading is so demanding — particularly for kids growing up in an age of distractions: “Complex texts require a slower labor. Readers can’t proceed to the next paragraph without grasping the previous one, they can’t glide over unfamiliar words and phrases, and they can’t forget what they read four pages earlier…Complex texts force readers to acquire the knack of slow linear reading.…”  
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Find out more about Prestwick House's approach to introducing more nonfiction to your classes with Reading Informational Texts.

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