Site-wide links

Reading and Writing in Content Areas


By Kathy Varone, M.S.
Department of English
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology

This module does not focus on one particular English structure or process, as many of the other SEA Site modules do. Instead, its purpose is to provide the site visitor with many different general ideas for incorporating reading and writing activities into content courses. These ideas will have application to virtually any type of course and, if implemented, will contribute to students' ongoing English language acquisition and their academic success. Site visitors can also incorporate ideas from the other SEA Site modules that focus on specific English structures and processes into the various reading and writing activities described in this module.

For a variety of reasons, many teachers of deaf students shy away from requiring reading and writing assignments in content area courses. We need to provide our students with as many opportunities as possible for interaction with reading materials and also opportunities for using writing as a tool for learning and analyzing information.

Reading and writing activities not only help build literacy skills; they can also be used as a means for exploring ideas in content areas, analyzing information learned in content areas, and organizing this information for later retrieval.

This module contains suggestions for before-reading, during-reading, and after-reading activities, as well as vocabulary building and other general activities. Specific techniques discussed in this module include:

  • Activating Schema
  • Predicting
  • Developing Questions
  • Preparation for Answering Questions
  • Marginal Notes
  • Role Playing Good Reading Habits
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Quiz Questions
  • Summary Writing
  • Outlining
  • Creative Testing
  • Active Participation in Preparing for Class Activities
  • Research Opportunity
  • TV Viewing
  • Related Readings
  • Learning Logs
  • Writing Predictions
  • Creative Writing
  • Student-Generated Vocabulary Lists
  • Concept Circles
  • Concept of Definition Word Maps