Tovani recognizes that
traditional textbooks aren’t appropriate for all reading needs or all readers.
Among her concerns are, “The reading material is often above their grade level and inconsiderately written. Concepts
are introduced too quickly. Too many vocabulary words are thrown at students,
with not enough opportunity to use them. Students’ background knowledge
on the topic may be limited, so they have nothing to connect the new reading to.”
Tovani suggests supplementing
textbooks with what she calls accessible texts. Accessible texts are interesting, well written, appropriately matched to the level of your students, and high
interest. They should be pleasing to the eye and interesting to read. While accessible
texts are more readable, they do not compromise rigor. Accessible texts can be compiled into text sets.
Examples of Accessible
· short nonfiction selections
· picture books
· short stories
· biographical information
· internet pieces
· student writing
· historical recounts
· primary sources
· letters and journals
For further reading, see
Do I Really Have to Teach Reading, Chapter 4.