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Education (Lesson Planning Resources): EDUC 215: Foundations of Literacy

Content Area Literacy

Content area literacy focuses on developing students' ability to effectively use reading and writing as generic tools for learning from content area texts. e.g. summarizing, note taking, concept mapping.

Journal Articles about reading and writing in the content areas:

Disciplinary Literacy

According to Shanahan & Shanahan, "Disciplinary literacy involves the use of reading, reasoning, investigating, speaking, and writing required to learn and form complex content knowledge appropriate to a particular discipline” (2012). Disciplinary literacy is built on the premise that each subject area or discipline has a discourse community with its own language, texts, and ways of knowing, doing, and communicating within a discipline.

Journal Articles about disciplinary literacy:

Search Terms: Finding Research Articles on Literacy Strategies

Finding disciplinary research on teaching your topic or subject area

Search terms:

  1. First concept -- “teaching methods” or “concept formation” or “learning strategies” or instruction
  2. Second concept A -- “mathematics instruction” or “science education” or “history instruction” or “second language learning” (this could be tied to French or Spanish) OR the subject area OR the profession (historian)
  3. Second concept  B -- the specific text you are teaching (e.g. "primary sources" OR "research articles")
    • You will only need A or B
  4. Third concept -- literacy or reading or reading strategies
  5. Optional -- can include the grade (e.g. secondary or “high school”) or NOT college or undergraduate


Additional Strategies

  • try searching for "disciplinary literacy" as a keyword and optionally add your subject area and/or text type
  • "content area reading" OR "content area writing" as a subject will pull up both content area and disciplinary literacy articles -- optionally add your subject area and/or text type
  • start with general searches and limit based upon the results list
  • discover the subjects used in a database to get more relevant results
    • look at the subjects of a good article
    • use thesaurus to see if a keyword is a subject
  • limit to peer reviewed articles and limit to academic journals
  • search reference lists and look for cited by articles

Catalogs and Databases: Finding YA Books

Databases: Finding Research Articles on Literacy Strategies

Books on Content Area Reading/Writing and Disciplinary Literacy

Discipline Specific Journals

Each of these journal titles can be searched in the databases ERIC or Education Source. You will need to add the title to the search box and change the corresponding drop down box to "SO Journal Title." You will then need to add additional search terms, such as literacy or reading OR the text you are trying to teach (e.g. research articles or primary sources).

Journal titles for ELA/Reading

Journal titles for Foreign/World Languages

Journal titles for Mathematics

Journals in the Sciences

Journals in Social Studies

Graphic Novels

To find graphic novels (in Milne), use the search terms "graphic novels" and your subject area, theme or topic. e.g. "graphic novels" and friendship.

In addition, consider searching for books that focus on teaching with comics or graphic novels. Many times they contain annotated book lists broken down by subject, topic, or grade level.


A few helpful websites about graphic novels

Teaching Through Games: Game Titles

Teaching through Games: Articles and Websites