Identifying a high-quality literacy resource
Criteria to look for to ensure literacy resources are worth your—and your students'—time.
We’ve all been there: Maybe it’s Sunday night; maybe you have a few precious minutes of planning time. You’re scrambling to prepare a lesson and you think, why reinvent the wheel? Let’s check the interwebs! You google your topic and…28,000,000 results pop up. How on Earth do you decide what might be worth using with your students?
We compiled the following set of criteria to look for to ensure that literacy resources are high-quality and worth your time—and your students' time.
Texts are authentic and complex, and include reading, writing, and discussion questions that are based on the text and scaffold toward the key understanding(s) of the text.
Materials include scaffolded, text-dependent questions and writing tasks that are aligned to grade-level standards, not anchor-level standards.
Texts and questions push students to build world knowledge and don’t focus solely on discrete literacy skills in isolation from the text.
Materials provide multiple opportunities for students to express their thinking through a variety of question types and tasks.
- Learning activities place the majority of “heavy lifting” on students, rather than teachers.
Once you’ve found a high-quality resource, you’ll want to think about your plan for internalizing the instructional materials. Read more about how to leverage planning meetings to deepen your understanding of the unit or lesson, including guidance around how to strategically adapt resources to fill gaps in curricula or support individual student needs.
And because we want to point you in the right direction, here are links to some of the highest-quality, CCSS-aligned literacy resources available to educators, free of cost: