Why Children Should Be Taught to Read with More Challenging Texts

By Timothy Shanahan Last updated 2024/05/27
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In this International Dyslexia Association Perspectives article, Timothy Shanahan discusses the importance of using challenging texts with students and outlines teacher supports that can be used to facilitate learning. Along with providing historical context for the use of leveled readers, Shanahan explores the role of instructional supports in aiding students while they persevere through challenging text noting that students with a “steady diet of relatively easy texts…would be provided fewer opportunities for dealing with sophisticated vocabulary, morphology, complex syntax, subtle
cohesive links, complicated structures, and richer and deeper

Curriculum Connection

1. Curriculum Context
Understanding reading development is essential in all areas of the curriculum and this article broadly supports the successful implementation of choosing and using texts with a variety of learners. 
Grade(s): K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Understanding Reading Development

1 Comment

  1. This is a must read. There are many misconceptions around supporting students with the right levels of text. The truth is that learning to read means that students need to overcome the barriers that they experience when reading. I read Vygotsky here at times too and the Zone of Proximal development. The supports and scaffolds we provide are of utmost importance!

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