Publication Date: October 28, 2022
High Attention Reading offers a new way to get students of all reading levels to independently read informational texts with more effort, attention, and stamina. Hale argues that increasing the number of informational texts children read is important but not enough to achieve this goal. In order to prepare students for the reading demands of high school, it is essential that we provide strategic scaffolding for the habits of mind required to read this genre at a high level and the motivation to do so. The author introduces elementary and middle school teachers to a format called HART (High Attention Reading through Talking) that uses purposeful, intermittent student talk to heighten engagement and accountability during independent reading. The book includes easy-to-implement lessons to get started with HART, as well as discussions about the relationships among motivation, engagement, and content area reading. Chapters describe how HART scaffolds and supports student ownership of background knowledge, content vocabulary, and critical thinking about texts. Teachers will learn how to create conditions that foster motivation and engagement with informational text, while also creating authentic accountability to help students read to their potential.
Elizabeth Hale is an assistant professor of literacy at the University of North Florida. She previously worked as an instructor of literacy at Emmanuel College and a literacy coach and teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
“Deeply grounded in Hale's knowledge of the micro-realities of classroom teaching, this book provides an astonishing picture of how frequent, short, student-led discussions can feed deeper and more engaged reading of informational text by all students over the long run, not just within one lesson.”
—Catherine O’Connor, professor, Boston University
“The challenge of preparing all learners to independently read complex informational text is both timeless and timely. This wonderful book provides teachers with instructional supports that will promote high attention reading through talking (HART). Over the past several years, scholarship has consistently shown that students’ experiences with informational text can build reading fluency, expand vocabulary and background knowledge, and strengthen reading comprehension ability. Yet, experiences alone are not enough. Kids need to read with HART if they are to develop the mental stamina and focus to become successful learners!”
—James S. Kim, professor of education, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education