Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher

Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4-12

Major Concepts of the Book

Reading involves complex thinking and because it is such an intricate, personal process the end goal of reading should not be completion of a task or a basic understanding. Deeper reading allows us to think beyond the words on the page, it prepares us for major decisions we'll have to make in our own lives, and it allows us to contemplate bigger issues of humanity.

  • Teach the challenging texts. That's why we're here!
  • Focus the reader by framing the text, tapping into BK or help shape schema
  • Prepare students well enough for 1st draft reading - KNOW your students
  • Deepen Comprehension through 2nd draft reading - 3 questions
  • Allow students to collaborate to further enhance understanding
  • Guide students to meaningful reflection

Philosophy of the Author

Gallagher - A Sociocultural Theorists through and through-
  1. Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development - Scaffolding
  2. Collaboration promotes new connections and new insights from listening and learning from multiple viewpoints. "Reading comprehension...takes place in and is governed by a specific context, and it is dependent on social interaction." p. 216

Deeper Reading and EDAP 636

Gallagher closely aligns with the following chapters in Best Practices:

Chapter 6 - Adolescent Literacy Instruction

Chapter 7 - Motivating Students to Read

Chapter 10 - Comprehension Instruction


My biggest challenge with my 7th graders: How do I get them to read with a critcial eye?

- "Why are we reading this?"

- Understanding prior knowledge can adversely impact student motiviation

- Reading issue with on demand writing. (Say/Mean chart)

- I want a purpose when I read as well!

Final Thoughts

When students say a book is boring stop and think - maybe the book is not the problem.
"Have I provided enough framing? Did I address my students' prior knowledge? Have I helped them make sense of difficult vocabulary? Have I helped them embrace their confusion?

What can we do as teachers to remove these obstacles?"