Using Text-Based Discussions to Understand Informational Texts in Middle School
Common Core literacy standards call for both an increased focus on reading informational texts and opportunities for students to converse and collaborate with peers. Research suggests that text-based discussions in the classroom can help students develop deeper understandings of complex material.
In this collection’s first video, Janice Dole explains the rationale behind the practice. Three additional videos illustrate how teachers can implement this practice in the classroom and support their students in unpacking rich texts. First, a social studies teacher explains how she uses a graphic organizer to support student comprehension and reading in pairs. Another social studies teacher describes how she uses pair-share and small groups to scaffold text discussion. Finally, a science teacher describes how using metacognitive logs helps prepare students for paired discussions.
The teachers’ approaches reflect research-based recommended practices from the Adolescent Literacy Practice Guide, including: Provide opportunities for extended discussion of text meaning and interpretation and Increase student motivation and engagement in literacy learning. For more details, download and read the Practice Guide.