Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2019

Grade(s): K - 8

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Kristin Ziemke, Katie Muhtaris

Our society is flooded with technology. It enables people to connect, it amplifies voices, and it has the power to enrich lives. Yet our society can be so distracted by the possibilities of technology that we can forget it is our humanity—and the stories we share—that make meaningful. As educators, it is up to us to ensure that students know how to use all the resources available to them to think critically and compassionately about the world.

In Read the World, Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris draw from their own rich pedagogical background and classroom experience to provide research, flexible lessons, and teaching strategies that support children in acquiring the skills they need to thrive—academically, socially, and emotionally—in today’s digital world. Kristin and Katie layer research-based instructional strategies, a student-centered approach, and strategic use of technology to outline a path that:

  • guides students to transfer what they already know about reading and interacting with print texts to new mediums like images, websites, eText, videos, and more     
  • provides practical suggestions for centering curricula around empathy
  • supports student agency and engages learners to employ the skills they’ve learned to take action on issues to benefit the lives of others, as well as their own
  • offers resources, guidelines, and suggestions for teachers to help ensure that students are accessing print and digital stories which reflect their own experiences and a wide array of experiences that differ from their own.

Each chapter offers lessons with target outcomes to help you assess students' growth and invites you to reflect on the work as it unfolds in your classroom.

Our students have been raised in a digital culture; now we need to guide them to use technology to tell their stories, hear the stories of others, and take action. With modeling, explicit instruction, and time for practice, we can—and must—teach students to build bridges, eliminate barriers, and thrive in this world. Start where it makes sense for your school and community and provide students the tools, teaching, and opportunity to rethink literacy and read the world.