shifting the paradigm disciplinary literacy in action
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Shifting the Paradigm: Disciplinary Literacy in Action. Julie Price Daly University of Chicago Julia Emig Chicago Public Schools Illinois Reading Council Annual Conference March 14, 2013. Common Core Grades 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

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shifting the paradigm disciplinary literacy in action

Shifting the Paradigm: Disciplinary Literacy in Action

Julie Price Daly

University of Chicago

Julia Emig

Chicago Public Schools

Illinois Reading Council Annual Conference

March 14, 2013

Sketch a symbol that represents what you think literacy looks like in one of the disciplines listed below…
  • English
  • Science
  • History
  • Mathematics
our objectives for the disciplinary literacy plc 2011 12
Our objectives for the Disciplinary Literacy PLC, 2011-12
  • To analyze a variety of authentic texts from across the disciplines (history, literature, and science)
  • To study and apply literacy practices that will support students’ learning from these disciplinary texts
  • To conduct an ongoing analysis of instruction and student work to assess the selection of disciplinary texts and the implementation of related literacy practices

16 high school teachers of English, science, and social studies/history

based on elizabeth moje s framework
Based on Elizabeth Moje’s Framework

From phone correspondence, June, 2011

  • Historical Problem/EQ: Why do people move? During the Great Migration between 1910 and 1970, were African Americans pushed or pulled?
  • Texts: letter written by African American woman from Macon, GA, in 1918; photographs from Library of Congress; excerpt from The Warmth of Other Suns by Wilkersen
  • Strategies: Anticipation Guide, Reciprocal Teaching, cause and effect graphic with writing
another example
Another example..
  • Problem/EQ: What makes a story worth reading, and who gets to decide?
  • Text: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read” by Francine Prose (Harper’s Magazine); excerpts from To Kill and Mockingbird by Lee and I Know Why the Caged Bird Can Sing by Angelou
  • Strategies: Key Word Prediction, Reciprocal Teaching, writing in support of and against a claim from the text (“believing and doubting”)
and one more example
And one more example…
  • Problem/EQ: Why do cells go rogue?
  • Texts: image of HeLa cells; “Henrietta’s Dance” by Skloot (Johns Hopkins Magazine); “How Do Tumors Grow?” by Willyard, (Scientific American); textbook; Lab Kit #4: Preparation of Human Chromosome Spreads
  • Strategies: examination of video images; annotating the text; Reciprocal Teaching; investigations and sketches; part-to-whole analysis
step inside robert thollander s classroom 2011 12
Step inside Robert Thollander’s classroom (2011-12)

sustained practice in laura s classroom 2012 13
Sustained practice in Laura’s classroom (2012-13)
  • Problem/EQ: Why do people migrate?
  • Text: “Chinese-Mexicans Celebrate Return to Mexico” by Rodriguez (
  • Strategies: vocabulary play; Reciprocal Teaching; writing in support of and against a claim from the text
chinese mexicans celebrate
“Chinese-Mexicans Celebrate”
  • Read the first few paragraphs of the text with this purpose: underline/circle any word or phrase that you think is connected to the concept of migration.
  • Read those words aloud (text rendering strategy).
  • What do you predict will be challenging for 9th grade readers?
laura s 9 th grade class reciprocal teaching with chinese mexicans celebrate return
Laura’s 9th grade class: Reciprocal Teaching with “Chinese-Mexicans Celebrate Return”
findings from surveys
Findings from surveys

Fall 2011

Spring 2012


Fall 2011

Spring 2012


Fall 2011

Spring 2012

have you noticed any changes in your students disciplinary literacy skills
Have you noticed any changes in your students’ disciplinary literacy skills?
  • They are more confident in their reading abilities…they are able to model their thinking after scientists in the discipline when they are reading and they can summarize and interpret complicated bodies of scientific text.
  • Greater confidence at tackling texts and more detailed reading.
  • Yes. Increased reading. Increased self selecting of using reading strategies.
how has your participation in the dl workshop helped you grow as an educator
How has your participation in the DL workshop helped you grow as an educator?
  • Made me a more reflective practitioner.
  • Immensely. I understand how to teach reading. Prior to the DL workshop teaching reading seemed like this huge tangible dinosaur that I didn’t know how to tackle.
  • It has promoted the use of more complicated texts at higher reading levels and given me the tools and strategies that are necessary for giving my students access to the text.
  • I set up my units more coherently; I provide better scaffolding for my students.
  • Enjoyed the camaraderie and professional coaching.
lessons learned
Lessons learned
  • Literacy practices are more likely to be incorporated into instruction when they are foregrounded in the discipline.
  • Adults need opportunities to engage in appropriately complex disciplinary literacy practices.
  • The curriculum is essential.
  • We did not do enough with student production of discipline-specific texts.
  • Important for teachers to work in discipline-specific groups
  • Planning support (colleagues and coaches) is an essential component
  • LASW connects the planning and instruction to student growth and development.
  • Workshops should be co-planned and co-facilitated by literacy and content experts.
  • The design of curriculum needs to work in tandem with the development of literacy strategies.
  • Both general and discipline-specific strategies seem to be essential, especially for underperforming readers.
  • Teachers need opportunities for deep reflection and planning with peers and coaches around instruction, planning, and student work
works cited
Works Cited

Daniels, H., and S. Zemelman. Subjects matter, every teacher\\'s guide to content-area reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational Books, 2005. Print.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. 1st. New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2002. Print.

Guthrie, John. Preparing Students for High-Stakes Test-Taking in Reading as found in Farstrup, A. E., and S. J. Samuels. What research has to say about reading instruction. International Reading Assoc., 2002. Print.

Ivey, G., and D. Fisher. Creating literacy-rich schools for adolescents. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Develop, 2006. Print.

Lee, Carol, and AnikaSprately. Reading in the Disciplines. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2010. Print.

Prose, Francine. I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read as found in Shea, Renée H., Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin DissinAufses. The Language of Composition. 2nd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin\'s, 2008. Print.

Schoenbach, R., C. Greenleaf, C. Cziko, and L. Hurwitz. Reading for understanding, a guide to improving reading in middle and high school classrooms. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999. Print.

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York City, New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2010. Print.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America\'s Great Migration . New York: Vintage Books, 2011. Print.

thank you

Thank you!

Julie Price Daly at [email protected]

Julia Emig at [email protected]