Free Resources

Welcome to our free resources page. We do our best to include articles, links and worksheets that we feel are of value to educators interested in advancing their literacy knowledge, district/building strategies, and classroom practice.


Keys to Literacy Articles

Below are articles authored by Keys to Literacy as well as articles referencing Keys to Literacy. Materials are in PDF format for viewing or printing.

The Common Core of Literacy and Literature by Mariam Karis Cronin, March 2014 Issue of English Journal (7 pages). The writer describes how the Common Core State Standards in the English classroom can improve the teaching of literature as well as the teaching of literacy. Copyright 2014 by the National Council of Teachers of English.  Posted with permission. www.ncte.org

Adolescent Literacy: Addressing the Needs of Students in Grades 4-12 (23 pages). This book chapter defines adolescent literacy, summarizes what we know about the literacy skills of adolescent and adults in the U.S., and presents a review of the research on effective literacy instruction for students in grades 4-12. It also presents a model for literacy planning model that addresses six components.

Research Supporting Keys to Literacy Programs (18 pages). This article for educators and administrators includes information about the history of reading comprehension research, research-based reading comprehension instruction, strategy instruction for adolescent readers, teaching reading comprehension strategies in the content classroom, the need for professional development in strategy instruction, and more.

Learning to Write and Writing to Learn (19 pages). This book chapter covers the following topics: The difference between teaching students how to write and how to use writing to learn content, Research review of most effective writing instruction practices, What students need to be taught about writing, including the stages of the writing process, specific writing strategies, text structure, and types of writing and How assessment can be used to determine writing ability, and how writing can be used to assess student knowledge.

Teaching Comprehension and Text Structure in the Content Areas (3 pages). The Common Core standards place significant emphasis on comprehension and text structure instruction for increasingly more complex text that is both narrative and informational (Common Core, 2010). The adoption of these standards by most states has drawn attention to the need for all teachers to explicitly teach text comprehension.

Helping Your Child with Organization and Study Skills (12 pages). An article for parents that includes information that will help you improve your teen’s study skills. Helpful tips are provided for: creating a study space, helping your teen manage his/her time, tools and strategies for improving study skills, organization skills, note taking skills, and more.

What Every Educator and Parent Should Know About Reading Instruction (7 pages). In this article about reading instruction, Joan Sedita implores parents and educators to familiarize themselves with the scientific-based research and what it tells us about teaching reading comprehension. Topics explored are: phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, fluency instruction, vocabulary instruction, and text comprehension instruction.

Effective Vocabulary Instruction (10 pages). This article for educators offers ideas for: effective vocabulary instruction strategies, indirect vocabulary instruction, direct vocabulary instruction, analyzing word structure, selecting vocabulary words, and the like. Learn the connection between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension, and the differences between good and poor readers, and so much more.

Basic Teaching Principles (3 pages). This article for educators includes teaching principles that are universal; they represent good pedagogy for any instruction setting, but they are particularly effective for students with learning disabilities.

Middle and High School Reading Achievement: A School-Wide Approach (7 pages). An effective, school-wide model for teaching reading should include a two-prong approach: a plan for providing reading instruction to good readers and a plan for providing reading instruction to struggling readers. This article for educators presents ideas for achieving school-wide reading comprehension for both audiences.

Adolescent Literacy: School-Wide Literacy Planning (2 pages).  This article for educators and administrators reviews the importance of developing a school-wide approach to teaching literacy skills.  Joan Sedita recommends developing this approach by using Keys’ proven Literacy Planning Model.  The Model addresses six components in the planning process.

Adolescent Literacy:  Content Literacy and the Common Core (3 pages). This article for educators and administrators discusses the important role all content teachers play in improving students’ literacy skills.  The Common Core literacy standards complement the content standards in subject areas and help insure students have college and career-ready literacy skills at graduation.