Finding ways to organize your classroom instruction for knowledge building and literacy learning can be challenging. How can you incorporate more nonfiction and informational text in your content area curriculum while expanding and deepening representation with diverse texts? What can motivate student learning while providing equity and access for different learning styles and needs? Text sets are the answer!
In Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy, authors Erika Thulin Dawes and Mary Ann Cappiello demonstrate how text sets offer students the opportunity to build critical thinking skills and informational literacy while generating interest and engagement across the content areas. Put your students in the center of the meaning-making in your classroom with multimodal multi-genre text sets in action.
In Text Sets in Action, the authors:
Model how text sets build foundational skills and metacognitive strategies as students experience a carefully scaffolded and sequenced exploration of ideas, academic, and content vocabulary
Explain how text sets encourage classroom discussion by having students ask questions about what they read, debate different perspectives, and relate the texts to their own personal experiences and the changes they would like to see in the world
Show how children’s literature and multimodal, multi-genre texts can serve as mentor texts for student writing and inspire creativity and advocacy
Demonstrate how to curate text sets that can introduce diverse and underrepresented voices into the classroom, fostering appreciation for different points of view and generate deeper critical thinking
Provide resources and suggestions for designing text sets – a multimodal, multi-genre text set can include children’s literature of all genres, as well as digital texts, YouTube videos, news articles, podcasts, and more
Text Sets in Action will help you create a collection of text sets that can be added to or edited over the years to align with your lesson plan goals. Teachers who have adopted this approach saw greater student reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. By introducing a multitude of text, teachers will ignite a spirit of inquiry and engagement for lifelong learning.
About the Author
Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Thulin Dawes are Professors of Language and Literacy in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Text Sets in Action unites pragmatism with philosophy and creativity to demonstrate how the most effective instruction is deeply grounded in quality children’s literature, while also allowing for skills-based pedagogy. Replete with concrete examples, testimonials from teachers, and research-based literacy theory, Cappiello and Dawes’ approach to building and using text sets is timeless. This book is ideal for preservice teachers, veteran teachers, and everyone in between.” —Amina Chaudhri, author of Multiracial Identity in Children's Literature.
“We know that knowledge building is essential for student success in school and in life. We also know that the best way to make knowledge-driven learning memorable and joyful is through rich, authentic texts, especially when texts are bundled in text sets. But where do we begin? With a resource that is first of its kind, Mary Ann and Erika are here to help. Not only do they share text sets that will spark new energy and excitement for content learning in your classroom, they support you with innovative ways of how to use these texts to best suit your students' needs. Through their signature approach of scaffolds, immersion, extensions, and student-created texts, you will feel supported to add text sets to your teaching right now in language arts, social studies, science, and math. Whether you have a curriculum in place or are building your own, Text Sets in Action is essential reading to give all children greater knowledge of the natural world, our complex history, and how we can create a more sustainable, equitable world.” —Katie Egan Cunningham, author of Start with Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Happiness
“Text sets present an unmatched opportunity to deepen our students’ understandings of the complex world in which we live.” Whether readers are seasoned veterans or new to text sets, they will never look at text sets as just a stack of books again. With invitations for text set design practice and crucial tools throughout, Text Sets in Action will help teachers create their own rich curricular text set journeys with and for their students.” —Julie Waugh, former committee member of NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
“Sometimes you don't know what you want until you see it. Such was the case when I first read Text Sets in Action. It is the perfect resource for preservice and practicing classroom teachers. Cappiello and Dawes are experienced educators who understand the nuances of using nonfiction children's literature across the content areas of the curriculum. Their pragmatic and insightful perspectives on selecting books, teaching with text sets, and engaging students in productive literature-based learning experiences merit our attention and appreciation. I will be sharing this book in all of my children's literature courses for educators.” —Denise Davila, Assistant Professor of Literacy and Children's Literature, University of Texas at Austin.
“This book is the essential guide for teaching with text sets: informative, inspiring, and amazingly thorough and practical. Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Thulin Dawes have made a groundbreaking contribution by showing educators how to use text sets to promote student inquiries that incorporate disciplinary literacy, outstanding literature, and a wide range of multimodal texts. Their use of supportive questions to use when planning, suggested models of instruction, and invitations to explore really got me thinking.” —Myra Zarnowski, Queens College, City University of New York
“This book is a treasure trove of pedagogical possibilities and multimodal resources that offers a rich instructional portrait of how to help children comprehend, think critically about, and compose contemporary, multimodal texts within an interdisciplinary curriculum. Grounded in and guided by the classroom practices of teachers and students in elementary intermediate grades, Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Dawes serve as instructional coaches for how to design and use text sets for interdisciplinary learning. Through detailed lesson plans, text set and graphic organizer possibilities, teacher reflections, and student artifacts, Cappiello and Dawes offer real-world instructional guideposts while also providing an optimum degree of autonomy and flexibility. They model what they are advocating: an empowering form of student-centered, inquiry-based learning using multimodal texts for interdisciplinary connections and creations.” —Jennifer Graff, Associate Professor, Literacies and Children’s Literature, University of Georgia
“In Text Sets in Action, Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Dawes present a powerful teaching strategy for integrating language arts with science, social studies, and math to make every precious minute of instructional time count. After a lucid explanation of the rationale for building rich, innovative learning experiences around carefully curated groupings of fiction and nonfiction children’s books, digital resources, primary source materials, and artifacts, the authors share a variety of real-world classroom experiences and then offer a range of easy-to-implement sample text sets designed to meet the standards and engage young minds.” —Melissa Stewart, author of more than 180 nonfiction books for children and coauthor of 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children's Books