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You must submit replies with 150 – 200 words in every module/week in which the forum is assigned. Each reply should be supported by personal experience, scripture, and/or academic references. In addition, if any “experts” are quoted, support your opinion using current APA format.

Disciplinary literacy “refers to the idea that we should teach the specialized ways of reading, understanding and thinking used in each academic discipline, such as science, history or literature(Shanahan & Shanahan, 2014).” The varying subjects use text in different ways; therefore, it is important for students to be able to apply meaning to the text regardless of where it is being presented.

According to Shanahan and Shanahan disciplinary literacy is not part of the common core standards for students until they reach middle school, but even before leaving elementary school students are using informational texts for such things as book reports, research projects, science experiments and graphing, all of which require disciplinary literacy skills, more specifically critical thinking skills (2014).

Critical thinking is skill that will not only serve them well academically, but in life in general. When we as educators focus on these skills directly we are helping our students to learn how to process and apply information vice merely reading and regurgitating it.

For example, if a student was to do a summary of a text, they should capture not just factual information, but be able to apply deeper meaning; as in the case of a summary on a history passage, “relevant social, political or economic causes and consequences” should be discussed (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2014).

Disciplinary literacy skills, unless explicitly taught, may be a challenge for students (Shanahan & Shanahan,2014). It will be important to not only model these skills, but also guide our students through the process.

Some things to consider when working to develop our student’s skills in this area are making sure the texts we choose represent a wide range of text types, modalities and purposes and that we explicitly help them to distinguish the different texts and their features (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2014).

A good way to incorporate disciplinary literacy specific reading opportunities in the classroom would be to read multiple texts on a selected subject, similar to the paired text reading we are doing in this class, then have the students compare and contrast the ideas presented. This causes the students to have to think critically, having to apply the information not simply reading it. To take it even further, the students could pull out select vocabulary words from the various texts, having to not only define them, but explain how words can and may have different meaning when used in different contexts.

As an elementary school teacher I will need to not only help my students develop basic literacy skills, but take it a step further, helping them to become critical thinkers.


Shanahan, C., & Shanahan, T. (2014.) Does disciplinary literature have a place in elementary school? The reading teacher, 67, 636-639.

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