Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12 (Paperback)

Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12 By Cris Tovani Cover Image

Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12 (Paperback)

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“Do I really have to teach reading?”

This is a question many teachers ask, wondering how they can add a new element to an overloaded curriculum. The answer is yes; if teachers want their students to learn complex new concepts in different disciplines, they need to help develop their students’ reading skills.

In Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12, author Cris Tovani takes on the challenge of helping students apply reading comprehension strategies in any subject. Tovani shows how teachers can expand on their content expertise to provide the instruction students need to understand specific technical and narrative texts. Inside the book you’ll find:

  • Examples of how teachers can model their reading process for students
  • Ideas for supplementing and enhancing the use of required textbooks
  • Detailed descriptions of specific strategies taught in context
  • Stories from different high school classrooms to show how reading instruction varies according to content
  • Samples of student work, including both struggling readers and college-bound seniors
  • “Comprehension Constructors”: guides designed to help students recognize and capture their thinking in writing while reading
  • Guidance on assessing students
  • Tips for balancing content and reading instruction


Tovani’s humor, honesty, and willingness to share her own struggles as a teacher make this a unique take on content reading instruction that will be valuable to reading teachers as well as content specialists.

Cris Tovani taught first grade to seniors for 31 years. Her entire career has been spent trying to figure out the “knowing-doing” gap. Researchers tell teachers what they should be doing but actually doing it with 125+ students is a whole new ball game. Throughout her career, Cris has tried to take reading and writing research and apply it to all levels of learners. She loves sharing her success and failures with colleagues around the world so they too, can better serve students.

Cris most recently worked with secondary English language learners from a high poverty district in Colorado that was in its fourth year of turnaround. Currently, Cris is facilitating literacy labs in several different states to promote collaboration among colleagues. In addition, she has the pleasure of working with administrators to build their background knowledge on best practices so they are able to give teachers useful feedback about instruction.

Cris is a internationally known consultant focusing on issues of reading, content comprehension and assessment in secondary classrooms. She has been an adjunct professor and is the author of four books: I Read it but I Don’t Get ItDo I Really Have to Teach Reading?So, What do They Really Know? And No More Telling as Teaching:  Less Lecture, More Engaged Learning.

Product Details ISBN: 9781571103765
ISBN-10: 1571103767
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication Date: January 1st, 2004
Pages: 144
Language: English
"All in all, Tovani has written a nicely approachable book that practices what she preaches. Do I Really Have to Teach Reading isn't just about teaching students, but about teaching ourselves." - Education Review


"A wonderful resource." - School Library Journal