Teaching Content Area Reading – EDUC 656

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

Develops instructional competencies necessary for teaching reading and study skills essential in learning the concepts of content subjects. Applicable to teaching in grades 4–12.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As students are learning to read, they must also develop skills that help them read what they are learning. Therefore, teachers need to structure their content classroom so that instructional reading skills are strengthened simultaneously with content area skills.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the reading process and the unique skills required for reading in the content areas.
  2. Modify and manage the learning environment and experiences to meet the needs of children, including children with disabilities, gifted children, and children with limited proficiency in English.
  3. Create learning experiences that integrate standards of learning for reading with the various content areas.
  4. Develop a repertoire of strategies to integrate vocabulary, comprehension, and composition in content lessons and to accommodate individual differences.
  5. Assess the quality and determine the readability levels of text and trade books.
  6. Assess the use of reading strategies in classroom situations, including the use of technology as a tool for teaching, learning, research, and communicating.
  7. Integrate language and literacy, mathematics, science, health, social sciences, art, music, drama, and technology in learning experiences.
  8. Demonstrate expertise in the knowledge, skills, and processes necessary for teaching writing, include the domains of composing, written expression, and usage and mechanics of the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing.
  9. Compare and contrast current professional literature related to the teaching of reading in the content areas.
  10. Demonstrate the integration of biblical worldview in all content.

Course Assignment

Textbook Readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

There will be four (4) Discussions throughout the course. The purpose of Discussions is to generate interaction among the candidates in regard to relevant and current course topics. The candidate is required to submit in response to the professor generated topic an original thread between 400-500 words and supported by the use of scripture and academic references. Any journal articles, quotes, text references, and Bible passages used to support his/her opinion must be cited using current APA format. The candidate must submit two (2) replies of 150 – 200 words each that add to the discussion generated. Each reply should be supported by personal experience, scripture, and/or academic references. (MLO: A, D, F, J)

Quiz: VDOE Dyslexia Awareness Module Certificate

The candidate will view and complete the required Dyslexia Awareness Module as required by the state of Virginia for the licensure and student teaching process. Students will be required to view the entire module (approximately 40 minutes) in one sitting. Upon successful completion, students will scan and upload their completion certificate in the quiz as well as in LiveText before grading will be completed. (MLO: B, D)

Praxis Practice Core and Subject Assessment Practice Tests

Candidates should complete the practice test for both the Core Praxis I tests as well as the relevant Subject Area assessment for your area of licensure. Candidates should upload a screen shot of your completion report to receive credit for this assignment.

Learning Window Unit Plan

Teacher candidates will use the Learning Window model to create a unit lesson overview focusing on application of reading, vocabulary and writing strategies to a standard in a given content, grade, and topic area. (MLO: B, C, D, F, G, H)

Article Reviews (2)

Candidates will select and write a summary of a peer-reviewed article. The articles should be dated within the last 5 years and should be a scholarly article reflecting research-based knowledge. Each review should include at least one well-developed paragraph summarizing the article, two paragraphs applying the content to instructional strategies to be used in classroom instruction, and a one to two paragraph overall assessment of the article. Each article will demonstrate professional writing in current APA formatting. (MLO: D, F, I)

Learning Strategies Portfolio (6)

Teacher candidates will use the readings and material included in the course to locate and match a learning strategy with a chosen content area reading for each mini lesson. Candidates will determine and identify the strategy and provide an explanation for its potential use in the classroom. Candidates should provide a research-based and substantiated explanation for the appropriate application of the topic. This project will be completed in six stages as described below:

  1. Vocabulary Strategies
  2. Guided Practice Strategies
  3. Extending and Applying Knowledge
  4. Writing Strategies
  5. Questioning Strategies
  6. Making Connections

(MLO: C, D, F, G, H)

Paired Text Unit Plan

For this assignment, the candidate will choose and read a fiction book from the grade band appropriate lists provided. The candidate will choose an appropriately matched non-fiction text to pair with the fiction reading and create a lesson plan overview describing the use of the text-pair as a teaching tool.  (MLO: C, E)

Literacy Glossary

The candidate will develop a personal glossary where they will record important or unfamiliar terms, topics, pedagogies, and strategies they would like to explore. This purpose of this assignment is to involve the candidate in identifying and understanding important content area literacy terms, evidence-based instructional practies, as well as, to serve as a diagnostic self-monitoring tool. The candidate will complete the glossary template for each strategy and/or term. The glossary must include terms related to understanding the complex nature of language acquisition and reading, to include phonemic and other phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension strategies for adolescent learners. (MLO: A, D)  

EdTPA Practice Task 2

As part of the licensure process candidates will be required to log in to the LiveText and complete Practice Task 2 for the candidate’s particular licensure area. Candidates will review a video submission based on the candidate’s level and content area and then complete and upload the required template. (MLO: F)