Authentic Literacy

Way too many reading activities in school do not have enough authentic communication. If a student isn't reading the text for enjoyment, information, or some meaning-filled purpose, then it's likely pseudo-communication. Like most reading activities, the ones below can be either pseudo- or authentic in the minds of students, depending on how you modify and teach them. I recommend thinking about how to bulk up or add all three features of authentic communication: purposeful building of an idea; clarifying and supporting are needed and pushed; information gaps. Also, another key practice during lessons  is language support...but remember, the language support should help students to communicate.

One way to improve reading and writing activities is by enhancing them  with the three features of authentic communication. Here is one example of AC enhancements for a literature circle group that was discussing character development in a short story.


Wide-Angle Reading Framework Visual 
While "close reading" has gained a lot of attention lately, "wide-angle reading" is also vital for comprehension. It helpls a reader to start off comprehending by looking at the purpose(s) of the text and how the text's elements support it.  

Comprehension Target
The Comprehension Target helps students see how to evaluate the usefulness of their reading strategies for comprehension in order to keep or modify useful thoughts and prune away less useful thoughts.

Narrative Structure Map
This reading or writing visual helps students to organize events in a typical narrative.

This visual can be used to organize both sides of an argument and evaluate them. It can be used when reading, writing, and/or viewing.