Common Core Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Last month, Teachers Engage focused on the Summer Slide, the phenomena where students lose skills and knowledge because they are not engaged in school. In the digital world, students can be connected with literature and informational text throughout the summer using free technology resources. Digitized text offers students new ways to interact with text and increase engagement.
Digital text makes it easy for students to learn new vocabulary because it is so easy to look up the meaning of unfamiliar words. Digital text also allows readers to highlight important or unclear passages, and to search for particular words and phrases. And in addition to all of that, there are so many FREE information text resources available, access to reading materials has never been easier!
Here are a few resources you can share with your students!
This app include 20 nonfiction stories related to science, along with reading comprehension activities for each story. The app also allows you to create your own stories and questions and track user progress. AbiTalk, created by Emmy Chen, has a variety of Apps for multiple grade levels and subject areas, like this app Reading Comprehension Solar System Free for 5th Grade, but they focus mainly on the elementary level.
Dogo News (K-8)
As I mentioned last month, DoGo News provides current events, sports, entertainment and more non fiction articles at appropriate reading levels for students in grades K-8. Each resource has associated vocabulary, standards alignment, comprehension questions and a critical thinking challenge. This is a fantastic resource to ensure your students are practicing their reading over the summer!
Time for Kids (K-6)
Offer some of their articles for free, and aligns them with Common Core activities. There are more articles available with a paid subscription, but the free ones are a great start!
Project Gutenberg (6-12)
Project Gutenberg offers thousands of free, copyright cleared and public domain books for download or reading on the computer. Many of the texts offered are classics, and there are some really neat non-fiction works in the mix. The catalog can be a bit hard to browse if you don’t know what you want, but it is well worth it!
Long Reads (8-12)
Long Reads’ mission is to provide access to some of the best fiction and non-fiction pieces over 1,500 words. They provide categories to browse and a search bar. What a great way to expose your students to a wider collection of literature!
So many options, so little time! CK12 offers creative commons licensed content including non-fiction reading, videos, practice exercises and more at their website. It is a particularly fantastic resource for math and science, one of the areas student have the most difficulty connecting with. The offer basic and detailed articles on topics, practice exercises and assessments, real world applications and the ability to assign particular things to your students. I can’t say enough about CK12!
Are your students struggling with text complexity? Thanks to the digital age, it’s so much easier to find, or create, level appropropriate readings! Check out Rewordify to change the reading level of the passages they are trying to read, give synonyms for unfamiliar words, and build vocabulary lists from your readings!
There is no denying that so many things have changed as our society shifts into the digital age. Literacy is just as important now, if not more so, as information is at our fingertips. Be sure to arm your students as they prepare to be citizens of the 21st Century.
Do you have any free non-fiction electronic resources you use with your students?