Literacy Booklist - an annotated bibliography

All of these books are part of the ECVHS library's Professional Development collection. Staff members are encouraged to drop by the library to check out these excellent resources.

Book TitleAuthor(s)Copyright
Literacy Tutoring That Works: a Look at Successful In-school, After-school, and Summer Programs
Richards, Janet C., and Cynthia A. Lassonde


Sample Chapters: "'You Gotta Read It With Awake in You': Marginalized High School Readers, Engagement, Agency, and Reading as Performance"; "Literacy Camp: An Effective Summer Intervention"; "Teaching and Learning About Literacy Through Arts Infusion: Successes, Challenges, and Lessons Learned in an After-School Program.

Content Matters: A Disciplinary Literacy Approach to Improving Student Learning

McConachie, Stephanie M., and Tony Petrosky2010
Many non-English teachers have been asking for proven literacy strategies designed specifically for their content areas. The central chapters in this book are written by subject-area teachers with success teaching literacy in history, math, science, and English classrooms. A great resource for tying literacy to content!
Building Content Literacy: Strategies for the Adolescent LearnerSejnost, Roberta, and Sharon Thiese2010
Written specifically for secondary teachers, this book includes lots of examples and numerous student reproducibles to help teachers infuse literacy skills into their content-area lesson design and instruction. There is an entire chapter on teaching specialized and technical vocabulary related to specific subject areas, and another focusing on “Real World Literacy,” including evaluating information found on the Internet and in the media.
Handbook of Adolescent Literacy ResearchChristenbury, Leila, Randy Bomer, and Peter Smagorinsky2009
This is the very best book available on current research into adolescent literacy. The 27 chapters in this book present research findings and analysis on a wide range of literacy topics, including literacy in and out of school, and the ways in which literacy and culture interact. Chapter 3, “Who Are Adolescents Today?: Youth Voices and What They Tell Us,” notes that adolescents themselves are often left out of the literacy conversation, and presents empirical research drawn from the voices of adolescents themselves and their experiences with literacy instruction. In Chapter 8, “Divided Against Ourselves: Standards, Assessments, and Adolescent Literacy,” the author looks at the uncomfortable tension between the recent emphasis on standardized assessments and the need for flexible approaches to literacy instruction. Other chapters include: “Tracking and Ability Grouping”; “Preparing Adolescents for the Literacy Demands of the 21st-Century Workplace”; “The Literacy Demands of Entering the University”; “Latina/o Youth Literacies: Hidden Funds of Knowledge”; and, particularly important for ECVHS, “The Literacies of New Immigrant Youth.”
Adolescent Literacy & Differentiated InstructionKing-Shaver, Barbara, and Alyce Hunter2009
Claims it is “the first book that shows how to base lessons on students’ strengths and target back-up instruction to their nees so they can improve in literacy, master content, and meet the demands of higher-level learning.”
Adolescent Literacy, Field Tested: Effective Solutions for Every ClassroomParris, Sheri, Douglas Fisher, and Kathy Headley2009
Presents a collection of “proven, research-based teaching practices from top professionals in adolescent literacy.” The authors take you “inside exemplary classrooms to observe adolescent literacy practices in the context of real school environments.” Shows best practices in writing, comprehension, vocabulary, cooperative learning, new literacies, and assessment. Multidisciplinary approach, including “Reading Comprehension Across the Disciplines: Commonalities and Content Challenges” and “Content Area Literacy in Mathematics and Science Classrooms.” Special chapters on “Improving the Reading Skills of African American Secondary Students” and “English-Language Learners in the Secondary Classroom.”
Language and Literacy Development: What Educators Need to KnowByrnes, James P., and Barbara A. Wasik2009
It is important to note that the focus of this book is on language and literacy development in young children. The issue of adolescent literacy is addressed only briefly throughout the book. The value of this book for high school educators is its up-to-date, research-based analysis of the ways in which our students acquired (or should have acquired) language and literacy on their path to our classrooms. Especially with our English Learners and native English speakers who are well below grade level in their literacy skills, this book’s analysis of the ways in which students develop in the areas of spoken language competence, phonological skills, vocabulary acquisition, reading and writing is instructive as we examine ways to accelerate our students’ late development of these important literacy skills. In Part IV, the authors also examine the roles played by gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity in the acquisition of these skills.
Essential Questions in Adolescent Literacy: Teachers and Researchers Describe What Works in ClassroomsLewis, Jill2009
This book’s stated intent is to “bridge what too often is a gap between research-based theory and effective classroom practices in adolescent literacy.” How many of us have yearned for this bridge to be built? How many times have we had to build that bridge ourselves? Each chapter in the book is coauthored by teacher educators and middle/high school teachers so that the theory and research are supported by the teacher’s voice and practical experiences. Three-fourths of the book’s contents focus on ways to connect literacy instruction with “students’ lived experiences” and “students’ personal goals.” This student-centered approach considers such important issues as how to motivate students to learn, the unique challenges faced by English Learners, and ways we can bring students’ “outside of school” literacies (text messaging, Facebook, etc.) into our classrooms. Chapter 13, in the last fourth of the book, is entitled: “What Do Middle Grades and High School Teachers Need to Know About Literacy Coaching?”
The Bridge to Literacy: No Child—or Adult—Left BehindCorcoran, John2009
This book, by the author of The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read (1994), raises a rallying cry and call to action for all of us to address the “crisis state of illiteracy in America.” Corcoran sees illiteracy as the primary reason educators have not been able to close the achievement gap and stop the loss of 30 percent of our high school students. He also outlines clear, practical solutions to the problem, including an end to social promotion and grade inflation.
Academic Language/Literacy Strategies for Adolescents: A “How To” Manual for EducatorsHirari, Debra L., Irene Borrego, Emilio Garza, and Carl T. Kloock2010
If you turn to this book’s appendices, you will see that the authors have included 70 pages of lesson plans, covering math, science and English Language Arts. There are lesson plans designed for Earth Science, Algebra, Chemistry, Biology, and a variety of other math, science and English classes. All lesson plans focus on integrating the teaching of academic language/vocabulary into the lessons/units you teach. There is also a 55-page “Grammar Handbook,” a terrific resource for all content area teachers working with language/literacy in their classrooms. Because this book is developed by California educators, lesson plans include the California subject-area standards being met in each lesson. The authors have also included a list of useful websites for math and science teachers (note that the book has a 2010 copyright). Finally, there is an appendix that includes extensive lists of cognates—English words that are closely related to similar words in Spanish—so that science, math, social studies, and literature teachers have another tool to use with those English Learners who are fluent in Spanish. The body of the book introduces the attributes of academic language and ways to motivate students to learn these words, followed by specific strategies to teach vocabulary, reading skills development, grammar, and writing. An excellent resource!
Media Literacy: Thinking Critically About the InternetPaxson, Peyton2009
In his series on Media Literacy, author Paxson writes that his books help students to “interpret, analyze, and evaluate media impressions.” The guiding principle of this book is that “the Internet can be used to teach critical thinking skills.” The book is filled with over 50 classroom activities with reproducibles designed to challenge students to think about the Internet as an entertainment medium, as a business, and as a source of social and cultural exchange. Paxson’s goal is to make students more informed and more discerning users of the Internet.
Media Literacy: Thinking Critically About TelevisionPaxson, Peyton2009
In his series on Media Literacy, author Paxson writes that his books help students to “interpret, analyze, and evaluate media impressions.” The guiding principle of this book is that “television can be used to teach critical thinking skills.” The book is filled with 50 classroom activities with reproducibles designed to challenge students to think about television as a communication medium, as a business, and as a source of social and cultural exchange. Paxson’s goal is to make students more informed and more discerning consumers of television.
Media Literacy: Thinking Critically About Video Games & Virtual WorldsPaxson, Peyton2009
In his series on Media Literacy, author Paxson writes that his books help students to “interpret, analyze, and evaluate media impressions.” In this book, Paxson notes that he is not a hardcore gamer, but rather “a teacher who believes that educators need to use powerful and adaptable technology that students find both compelling and immersive.” He notes that, in many ways, “the video game industry has proved to be much more successful at engaging teenagers that the education system.” The author asks teachers and students “to consider the possibilities that video games offer, as well as some of their problems.” The book is filled with 44 classroom activities with reproducibles designed to challenge students to think about video games in a critical and articulate fashion, and to transfer what they know about and can learn from video games and virtual worlds into other learning experiences.
Power Tools For Adolescent Literacy: Strategies For LearningRozzelle, Jan and Carol Scearce2009
The authors of this book write that their professional mission is to “empower teachers with strategies and tools that enable students to read every day in every classroom and write and talk about what they read.” They wrote the book to be a “toolbox of instructional strategies to meet the diverse learning needs of adolescents.” The book is filled with activities and reproducibles designed to engage adolescent learners, empower strategic learning, build comprehension, develop vocabulary, and teach students how to write to learn.
100+ Literacy Lifesavers: A Survival Guide For Librarians and Teachers K-12Bacon, Pamela S. and Tammy K. Bacon2009
These are practical, “use tomorrow” lessons intended for collaborative curricular units that are co-taught and/or co-designed by the classroom teacher and the teacher-librarian. This is the ideal, but these literacy lessons can be used by a single teacher, as well. Although this is a K-12 book, you will find that many of the lessons are for lower-grade students, but could also be used with select English Learners. The 9-12 activities include using graphic organizers, implementing literature circles, teaching information literacy skills, analyzing author purpose, and facilitating independent research and learning. I love collaborating in all subject areas, so let me know how I can best work with you to help your students!
Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Practical Ideas For Literacy LeadersIrvin, Judith L., Julie Meltzer, Martha Jan Mickler, Melvina Phillips, and Nancy Dean2009
The authors say they wrote this book “to provide literacy leaders with practical strategies and approaches to engage content area teachers, literacy leadership team members, parents, community members, and students in the goal of improving student motivation, engagement, and achievement as readers, writers, and thinkers.” The authors developed a “Leadership Model for Improving Adolescent Literacy” with goal areas and action points. The three goals are: 1) Improving student motivation, engagement, and achievement; 2) Integrating literacy and learning in all content area classes; 3) Sustaining literacy development.
Taking the Lead on Adolescent Literacy: Action Steps For Schoolwide SuccessIrvin, Judith L., Julie Meltzer, Nancy Dean, and Martha Jan Mickler2010
Following up on the work presented in Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Practical Ideas For Literacy Leaders (2009), the authors developed six “Literacy Action Rubrics” designed to help literacy teams make clear and concrete the elements of a schoolwide literacy improvement initiative, and be able to assess levels of implementation based on a range of criteria. The six rubrics are: 1) Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement; 2) Integrating Literacy and Learning Across the Content Areas; 3) Literacy Interventions; 4) Literacy-Rich School Environment, Policies, and Culture; 5) Parent and Community Involvement; 6) District Support of School-Based Literacy Improvement Efforts.
Approaches to Media Literacy: A HandbookSilverblatt, Art, Jane Ferry, and Barbara Finan2009
The goal of this book is to “enable students to take a critical look at the information they receive through mass media and to develp an independence with regard to what media to use and how to interpret information.” The authors examine media through five distinct approaches: 1) Ideological Analysis—“designed to help people become more sensitive to the ways in which the media reflect, reinforce, and shape ideological systems”; 2) Autobiographical Analysis—“an approach that investigates media content as a way to promote personal discovery and growth”; 3) Nonverbal Communication Analysis—providing “insight into the ways in which nonverbal communication behaviors reinforce verbal messages in media presentations,” examining “ways in which media communicators use ‘scripted’ nonverbal strategies to create a particular image or impression,” and providing individuals “with tools to detect behaviors that are at variance with the ‘scripted’ verbal message”; 4) Mythic Analysis—identifying the “mythic functions of media programming,” providing perspective on media content as a “retelling of traditional myths,” identifying “mythic elements in media programs…as a way to approach critical analysis of the narrative,” and identifying “cultural myths in media programs that furnish perspective into that culture.”