What’s hot in 2017? Text sets!
Of course, they are not a new idea. Using a cohesive collection of literature to build students’ knowledge and skills has been a strategy in education since the dawn of time. Teachers taught with this method when I was in elementary school, however, things were not quite as rigorous. We might have had a unit on apples: we read about a mouse eating an apple, played an apple game, painted apple art, and counted apple seeds before we planted them. All are great activities- but it’s 2017 people! Time to take it up a notch.
Integration and Text Sets
The beauty of today’s text sets is they integrate various genres of literature and/or multimedia resources, build all types of literacy skills simultaneously, and even incorporate other subject areas such as science and social studies. In today’s time-crunched world, it’s all about mixing instruction together to save some teaching time! Integration is the door to better teaching and text sets may just be the key to unlocking it.
There is so much say about text sets: how they come together, how you best utilize them, where you squeeze them into your day, and even how you develop your own. I will have to save all of the intricate details for upcoming posts, but for today let’s at least cover the basics.
What is a text set?
ReadWriteThink.org defines text sets as, “collections of resources from different genre, media, and levels of reading difficulty that are designed to be supportive of the learning of readers with a range of experiences and interests.” I know that some districts are defining two books paired together for read aloud as a text set, too. While a set of paired texts is a good place to start when launching text sets in the classroom, for our purposes a text set will represent an entire collection of resources rather than being limited to two books. After all, our end goal is to truly incorporate the text sets’ knowledge building throughout our day and expand into lessons outside of our literacy block. To help give you examples of some preexisting text sets for your classroom’s use, check out the following resources:
- Achieve the Core
- Louisiana Department of Education (“ELA Guidebooks 1.0”)
- Council of Chief State School Officers
Stay tuned for more information about text sets in upcoming posts. Until then, happy exploring!