Reading Across Texts: A Resource for Planning Multiple-Source Comprehension Tasks

College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS) set the expectation that students will be able to navigate multiple texts, evaluate the claims that authors make, notice and account for any conflicting points of view, and synthesize information as they develop an understanding of a concept or event. CCRS establish these learning expectations, but they do not provide guidance for how to plan instruction. Reading Across Texts is part of a series produced by the Center for Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) to assist educators as they use CCRS to plan instruction for diverse learners. This resource presents the best of what we currently know about how readers make sense of multiple texts, and what instruction might look like in the classroom. The studies reviewed in this guide involve a range of grade levels and subject areas. Some of the studies sought to understand how readers engage with texts without targeted instruction in how to do so. Other studies examined the effects of interventions that taught students how to strategically read and evaluate texts. Taken together, this body of work can provide us with helpful insights as to how to plan instruction across grade levels.

Reading Across Texts presents these insights from research as three broad categories of planning recommendations: 1) strategies for teaching students to evaluate sources of information, 2) strategies for teaching students to compare information across sources, and 3) considerations for framing instructional tasks that involve multiple-source comprehension. For each planning recommendation, there is a synthesis of what researchers have learned about how students read multiple texts without specific instruction, and instructional strategies that appear to help students learn to do this work.

Content Comments 

The ideas presented in this resource are cumulative, and complement other CSAI-developed resources about lesson planning and the formative assessment process. Educators can visit the CSAI resource library for more detail. Reading Across Texts is a practical application of the guidelines and recommendations presented in other resources in the CSAI series.