[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Suzanne Warner



Teachers of content areas may notice that the students who struggle the most in their classes are the ones with poor reading skills. You don’t have to become a reading teacher to give your needy students a few reading strategies which will boost their confidence and ability to engage the material. Our text, How to Teach Reading When You’re Not a Reading Teacher by Sharon Faber, has an extensive list of easy-to-use strategies which many teachers use already like graphic organizers, think alouds, and column notes.  This course is applicable to all content areas and levels, K-12 as well as early college. You will be amazed how easy it is to use a few tips your students can easily work with to improve their reading comprehension. Text about $5 from Amazon.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Choose and use thinking and reading strategies that will help their students comprehend the content of their subject matter
  • Create lesson plans that enhance subject-matter understanding by incorporating reading strategies
  • Access prior knowledge through a plethora of strategies thus enhance the content-area learning for all students
  • Teach the reading strategies to students so they can implement in all content-areas
  • Model thinking processes for students when reading for content

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



How to Teach Reading: When You're Not a Reading Teacher by Dr. Sharon Faber, (2006)

  • How to Teach Reading: When You're Not a Reading Teacher (Kids' Stuff)
    ISBN# 0865300003
    by Faber, Dr. Sharon, Norris, Jill, Drayton, Marta
    Brand: Incentive Publications

    Buy from Amazon


Text: How to Teach Reading: When You're Not a Reading Teacher by Dr. Sharon Faber, (2006) is approximately $4 on Amazon.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Introduction & The Research Behind Content Area Literacy

  1. Read Chapter 1: The Research in How To Teach Reading When You’re Not A Reading Teacher.
  2. Read the following online article about Why We Need Content Literacy:
  3. Then in 1-2 paragraphs, introduce yourself including what grade level you teach, the content area, and share what you hope to gain from this course. Include any initial thoughts you have regarding the Reading I.Q. Quiz on page 19.

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.

Assignment #2: What is Content Area Reading? & Characteristics of a Good Reader

1.          Read Chapter 2: What is Content Area Reading and Chapter 3: Characteristics of a Good Reader in  How To Teach Reading When You’re Not A Reading Teacher

2.       Read the following articles:
          Content Literacy:

         Good readers v. struggling readers:

3.   Complete the Review Questions.

4.   In 250-words or more, reflect on the readings and share your thoughts. In what ways do you see these attributes (both for good readers and struggling readers) as described in your students? Think back to the Reading I.Q. Quiz on page 19, how did you do? What did you learn that surprised you about good readers and reading literacy? How does what you learned compare to what you thought you knew?

Assignment #3: COURSE FORUM: Reading Strategies & Teaching the Strategies

1. Read Chapter 4: Reading Strategies and Chapter 5: Teaching the Strategies in How To Teach Reading When You’re Not A Reading Teacher.

2. Watch the following videos of students working with some reading strategies and teachers teaching the reading strategies:

Jigsaw (elementary):


Think-Pair-Share (elementary):


Paired Reading & Word Walls (high school):


3. In 250-words or more, share your thoughts of the reading strategies and your ability to teach them.  Are there certain strategies that you think would be more effective with your students? Which ones and why? How do you imagine teaching those strategies? Have you already implemented any of these strategies? Please share the results of that experience. Finally, which strategies are you most excited to try and why?

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.

Assignment #4: COURSE FORUM: Reading in the Content Areas

1. Read the following articles:

6 Strategies for Teaching Literacy in Your Math Class:

Music Training Can Be a Literacy Superpower:

Reading Techniques Help Students Master Science:

2. Conduct an online search about reading strategies and your primary content area (or if an elementary teacher, an area in which you would like to focus). Select one article of your choosing to highlight.

3. In 250-words or more, share a short summary of your article (include the link). The bulk of your response should highlight the similarities and differences among the article you selected, the text for this class, and the online readings from above. Consider not so much the strategies themselves (you previously addressed these in Assignment #3), but rather the philosophy of reading in the content areas – the expectations, goals, and expected outcomes when part of a lesson plan. Do you agree or disagree with the expected outcomes? Try and support your ideas with specific examples from your classroom.           


Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.


1.          Read the Conclusion and Appendix in How To Teach Reading When You’re Not A Reading Teacher.

2.          Read the following online article about A Range of Writing Across the Content Areas:

3.          In 250-500 words, write a summary analysis of the readings, share what you learned from the online articles, and describe how you will take what you learned in this course and apply to your teaching.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #6: Lesson Plans & Implementation

Create a lesson plan incorporating one or more reading strategies.  If possible, teach your newly created lesson, summarizing and reflecting on the experience for both you and your students (250 – 500 words). Submit your lesson (you may use any lesson plan template you'd like - and are welcome to use the Heritage Lesson Plan Template) along with samples of exemplary student work (via video, photos, scans of essays, etc) and include any rubric used for assessment purposes. Once your lesson is done, upload it into The Heritage Institute lesson library.

Note -          If you are unable to implement because of a lack of a class (e.g. substitute teacher, summertime, currently not in the classroom, etc...), feel free to either implement at home with your own children (if applicable) or to create lesson plans for a future class including thoughts of what could be challenging and what you anticipate to be easy to implement.

Assignment #7: Mentoring

Mentor another teacher in the methods and information from this class and observe her/him in the classroom. Write 250-500 words summarizing your observation, results, and reflection.

Note - If you currently are not in your own classroom, you are welcome to do a different assignment, such as: interviewing 2 – 3 teachers about how they integrate reading strategies into their classroom, create a blog describing reading strategies for your content area, or with instructor approval, you may create an assignment that better fits your needs.

Assignment #8: Online Article

Write a 500+ word article concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students in terms of content area reading and literacy.

• Please refer to the guidelines for our blog What Works: Teaching at its Best prior to writing your article.

• When you submit your article to your instructor, please also email a copy to Yvonne Hall THI blog curator and media specialist.

• Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 

Assignment #9: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one of the following:

Option A)

Create a 15-20 minute PowerPoint Presentation about Reading Strategies in your content area (incorporating the text and online readings) that could be used as an in-service to colleagues in your school.


Option B)

Conduct research of 3-5 online periodicals, online articles or videos on reading strategies. Document the key points in a mind-map or 4-page paper analyzing how your research supports and/or contradicts what you’ve read in the text.


Option C)

Another assignment of your own design with the instructor’s prior approval.


Assignment #10: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Suzanne Warner, M.S., received her Masters Degree in Education from the University of Rochester, New York.  She has taught mathematics in the middle school, high school, and college settings, most recently in Oregon. Suzanne has been lauded by administrators, colleagues, students and parents regarding her teaching and classroom management skills. Her students enjoy learning in a respectful, productive environment, where each student is in control of her/his own learning and behaviors. She strongly believes that all students want to do well, and creates a teaching environment for them to succeed. 

When not in the classroom, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her family reading, hiking, backpacking and traveling.



Allen, Janet, Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Spi Edition, Stenhouse Publishers, 2014, 52 pages, ISBN: 978-1571103802. Vocabulary teaching often becomes an isolated activity rather than an integral part of our overall teaching. When this happens, students seldom internalize those words or incorporate them into their writing or speaking. In Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Janet Allen provides strategies that will help students learn new words, become more conscious of words, and increase competence in knowing when and how to use words.

Daniels, Harvey, Steven Zemelman, and Nancy Steineke, Content-Area Writing: Every Teachers Guide, 1st Edition, Heinemann, 2007, 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0325009728. No matter what subject you teach, Content-Area Writing is for you, especially if you're juggling broad curriculum mandates, thick textbooks, and severe time constraints. It not only shows that incorporating carefully structured writing activities into your lessons actually increases understanding and achievement, but also proves how writing can save, not consume, valuable instructional time.

Robinson, Richard D., Teaching through Text: Reading and Writing in the Content Areas, 2nd Edition, Pearson, 2013, 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0132685726. Pre-service and in-service middle and secondary school teachers get a core set of instructional techniques in this evidence-based, practical resource designed to help them incorporate reading-related approaches into their classroom. The approaches are easy to follow, practical, effective, feature a strong empirical base and reflect the latest thinking in the field.

Smagorinsky, Peter, Teaching Dilemmas and Solutions in Content-AreaLiteracy, Grades 6-12, 1st Edition, Corwin, 2014, 184 pages, ISBN: 978-1452229935. Think literacy is just for English teachers? Not anymore. Nor should it be when you consider that each discipline has its own unique values and means of expression. These days, it’s up to all teachers to communicate what it means to be literate in their disciplines. Here, finally, is a book ambitious enough to tackle the topic across all major subject areas. 

Tovani, Cris, Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12, 1st Edition, Stenhouse Publishers, 2004, 144 pages, ISBN: 978-1571103765. “Do I really have to teach reading? This is the question many teachers of adolescents are asking, wondering how they can possibly add a new element to an already overloaded curriculum. And most are finding that the answer is “yes. If they want their students to learn complex new concepts in different disciplines, they often have to help their students become better readers.

Urquhart, Vicki and Dana Frazee, Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If not me, then Who? 3rd Edition, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2012, 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1416614210. This completely revised third edition of the best-selling Teaching Reading in the Content Areas seeks to help educators understand how to teach reading in their respective disciplines, choose the best reading strategies from the vast array available, and positively impact student learning. Throughout, it draws from new research on the impact of new technologies, the population boom of English language learners, and the influence of the Common Core State Standards.