The Common Core Standards repeatedly stress the idea that kids should be reading more than one text. I don't mean they call for kids to have multiple textbooks (the standards say nothing about how teaching should take place), but they do call for kids to be able to compare and contrast, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information across texts. That is a big step forward, since multiple texts place different, and more authentic, reading demands on students. Here are many of the standards that dictate developing students abilities to read multiple texts and the grade levels that these are expected to be accomplished:
With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories. (K)
With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic. (K)
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories. (1)
Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic. (1)
Compare and contrast tow or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures. (2)
Compare and contrast the two most important points presented by two texts on the same topic. (2 and 3)
Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series). (3)
Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics and patterns of events in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures. (4)
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic to write/speak abuot the subject knowledgeably. (4-5)
Compare and contrast stories in the same genre on their approaches to similar themes and topics. (5)
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics. (6)
Integrate information presented in different media or fromats as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. (6)
Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history. (7)
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts. (7)
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation. (8)
Integrate visual information with other information in print and digital texts. (6-8)
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually. (6-8)
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (6-8)
Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment. (9-10)
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis with qualitative analysis in print or digital text. (9-10)
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums determining which details are emphasized in each account. (9-10)
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem, evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (11-12)
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats as well as in words to address a question or solve a problem. (11-12)
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media to address a question or solve a problem. (11-12)
That really is not all of them, but it is enough that you get the point: Multiple Text instruction is going to be at a premium in coming years (days?)... here are five guidelines to help you to think about that instruction:
1. Reading single texts is no longer sufficient in teaching reading.
2. Multiple texts need to be introduced in Kindergarten and then are to be used throughout a students' schooling.
3. Multi-text instruction is not aimed at a single type of cognitive processing, it really must require that students analyze more than one text (in terms of content, genre, accuracy, effectiveness, etc.), compare and contrast particular features of texts, synthesize the information from different texts, and to engage in comparative evaluation or judgment.
4. Multi-text instruction involves many types of texts sets: multiple texts by the same author, multiple texts on the same topic, multiple texts that can contribute different but overlapping information on the same subject, and multiple texts that differ in quality or effectiveness or perspective.
5. Multi-text instruction requires different responses by the readers, quite often this includes their own writing or oral presentation of ideas.
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