Content Literacy 101

Non-Textbook Strategies

The majority of this website is dedicated to helping teachers make their textbooks more accessible to their students. However, there are contexts where using a textbook is not appropriate. Perhaps you have a class whose average reading ability is well below what the textbook is written for. Maybe you have a few struggling students who cannot grasp the concepts if they are presented in a traditional textbook. Whatever the case, I decided to present some non-textbook strategies you can use in your classroom. The first idea is that of a read-aloud. This tool is typically used to create interest and to introduce a new topic. I recommend its use in any course, and for any reader, not just those who are struggling. The next ideas both involve the concept of "accessible text." Accessible texts (either alternate texts or text sets) are used to supplement the traditional textbook, or even replace it for those who are having major difficulties. While these strategies may not work for every situation, they can be helpful when some of the other methods have not worked.