The World of Reading & Writing

Specific Teaching and Classroom Strategies

Important Topics: Agenda

  • Supporting English Language Learners

  • Is Gender an Issue in Literacy Education?

  • The Beginning Reader: Gradual Release of Responsibility

  • Evaluating and Selecting Non-Fiction Texts

  • Features of Text

  • Visualization

  • Reading at Home

  • Exit Card

What have you read or written lately?

  1. Make a T-Chart
  2. Title one side: Reading and the other side: Writing
  3. Make a list of all of the reading and writing that you have done in the past week

Supporting English Language Learners

"Newcomers to Ontario from countries other than Canada now represent almost 25 per cent of Ontario’s population, with 18 per cent of the population speaking neither English nor French as a first language. In some school boards, more than seventy-five home languages and dialects are represented among the student population. While this diversity in student background is not in itself an obstacle to reading achievement, it does have implications for early reading instruction. Teachers need to ensure that their instructional approaches and classroom practices reflect the needs of the changing population." (A Guide to Effective Instruction in Reading, Pg. 3).

Supporting English Language Learners in the Reading Program:

  • Scaffolding
  • Differentiation
  • Small-group Instruction
  • Partnering
  • Visuals
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Modelling
  • Scribing
  • Assistive Technology
  • Choice
  • Modified Work

Work with a partner to make a list of all of the forms of non-fiction reading and writing that you can think of...

Is Gender an Issue in Literacy Education?

"Non-fiction writing is the most widely read genre in the world" (Kamil and Lane, 1997).

"Studies have shown that academic achievement in a range of subjects and fields relies heavily on informational reading and writing" (Duke, 2004).

"Elementary school children of both genders (not just boys) will choose to read non-fiction over stories nearly half the time, a finding that surprises many teachers" (Kletzien and Szabo, 1998).

The Beginning Reader

"Non-Fiction is on of the most accessible genres for reluctant and less experienced readers because the features scaffold the reader's understanding" (Harvey and Goudvis, 2000)

Evaluating and Selecting Non-Fiction Texts

Looking at one of the texts on your table, complete the chart entitled, "Guiding Questions for Evaluating and Selecting Non-Fiction".

How would you use this in your teaching?

Brain Break!

Take a few minutes to stand up, walk around, and talk to your peers.

If you are up to the challenge, take a card from the brain break activity jar at the front of the room - this activity will be sure to get out all of your jiggles.

Features of Text - Why Are They Important?

The Ontario Language Curriculum Says:

Reading Grade 1

Text Features 2.3

Identify some text features (e.g., illustrations, symbols, photographs, title, page number, table of contents) and explain how they help readers understand texts

Teacher prompts:

"How does the title help you understand what you are going to be reading?"

"How does an illustration or photograph help you understand what you are reading?"

Reading Grade 3

Test Features 2.3

Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (e.g., table of contents, charts and chart titles, headings, an index, a glossary, graphs, illustrations, pictures, diagrams, hyperlinks, a menu).

Teacher prompts:

"What is the purpose of a glossary in a non-fiction text? How could you use it to help you understand the text?"

Non Fiction Rap

Non-Fiction Feature Search

  • Using the texts on your table, work with a different partner than before and complete the search.
Which features would be most important for your primary students?

Primary Students and the Importance of Visualization in Reading

Picture This...

Pictures help students to preview and predict text, gain factual information and develop questions, and a purpose prior to reading.

Task: One Small Square

  • Take a square piece of paper and fold it so that you can cut a smaller square out of the centre of the large square.
  • Lay the large square down on one of the images on the centre of your table and record your observations.
  • Now, move the square, how have your observations change, how has your view of the image changed.

This activity can lead into some very good discussions about perspective, when your students are ready.

Celebrity Literacy Public Service Announcement (The Electric Company)

Reading at Home...

Tips for Guardians: How can I be an active part of my child's reading development?

Reading Aloud

  • Read aloud to your child ever day, and continue after your child learns to read.
  • Answer your child's questions, even if they interrupt the story.
  • Talk as you read. Ask questions like, "What do you think if going to happen next?", "Why did that character do that?", and "What would you do?"
  • Read books that are interesting to your child.
  • Have your child retell the story.
  • When you are done reading, talk about the story.


  • Book adventures
  • Library story programs that you can both attend
  • Allow your child to choose the books that they would like to read with you

Online Reading Resources

There are great online reading resources that you can use with your child:

  • Starfall
  • TumbleBooks
  • StoryLine Online

3 - 2 - 1 Exit Card


3 Things I Discovered

2 Things I Found Interesting

1 Question I Still Have

Please fill them out and leave them in the centre of your table.

Thanks for being a great audience!