THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI iStudy | Home | Ole Miss | Request Info  link to facebook  link to twitter

The University of Mississippi Online

EDRD 429, Reading in the Secondary School, v4 

University of Mississippi
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Nancy Douglas

Instructor: Dr. Nancy E. Douglas

Dr. Douglas is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education at The University of Mississippi.

She received her Bachelors degree in Secondary Mathematics and Special Education; Masters degree in Special Education; and Doctorate degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in reading instruction, all from The University of Mississippi. On campus she teaches courses in reading and special education.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Send Email link in the Communications & Tools tab. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826

Course Description

This course aims to help teachers make content literacy an ongoing part of their instructional routines. Attention is given to instructional practices and strategies that can support and motivate learners, including struggling readers and diverse learners and to help students think and learn with text-both print and digital.  

It features two major sections:

  • Part I on literacy and learning in today's classrooms examines contemporary issues that impact content literacy: the standards movement, the balance between content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, struggling readers, and cultural and linguistic diversity, and more.

  • Part II about instructional practices and strategies looks at how teachers can create effective learning environments for literacy learning in content area classrooms.

Throughout the course, students will explore ideas such as strategic learning, collaborative and cooperative grouping practices, the role that prior knowledge plays in comprehension and learning, learning with literature and technology, talking about texts, writing to learn, and instructional scaffolding before, during, and after reading. The role of literacy coaches in supporting content literacy learning is also examined.

Textbook Information:


Vacca, R. T., Vacca, J. L., & Mraz, M. (2014). Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum. (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.  ISBN: 0-13-306678-9

It is your responsibility to order your textbook. Online retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices. Use the ISBN number to make sure you're ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to): 

  • understand how the structure of the text will assist you in motivating, engaging, and teaching 21st  century students

  • identify and integrate multiple forms of literacies into your teaching  

  • understand how standards-based teaching and high-stakes testing impacts teaching

  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit before reading comprehension strategies

  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit during reading comprehension strategies

  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit after reading comprehension strategies as well as how to identify supports for teaching reading comprehension strategies

  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit vocabulary instruction, context clues, and incidental vocabulary learning

  • understand how to use flexible grouping, multiple texts, and reading strategies to help their students navigate and comprehend textbooks

  • understand how to prepare to teach English learners strategies for comprehension and vocabulary in the content areas

  • understand how writing can increase comprehension in the content areas

  • understand how to integrate technology into content area lessons

  • understand how to engage students by using inquiry-based learning 

  • understand how to engage students by using creative models of representation

  • understand the types and importance of assessment and evaluation

  • understand the importance of becoming a lifelong learner through professional development

Course Outline:

This course consists of 12 instructional modules (or lessons).

Lessons & Exams

Reading Assignments

Due for Grades

Lesson Zero

Literary Article Critique

Article critique

Lesson One

Chapter 1: Literacy Matters

Homework quiz

Lesson Two

Chapter 2: Learning with New Literacies

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Lesson Three

Chapter 3: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms

Homework quiz

Lesson Four

Chapter 4: Assessing Students and Texts

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Lesson Five

Chapter 5: Planning Instruction for Content Literacy

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Lesson Six

Chapter 6: Activating Prior Knowledge and Interest

Homework quiz

Mid Course Exam

Covers Chapters 1 through 6

To be scheduled and completed before proceeding

Lesson Seven

Chapter 7: Guiding Reading Comprehension

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Lesson Eight

Chapter 8: Developing Vocabulary and Concepts

Homework quiz

Lesson Nine

Chapter 9: Writing Across the Curriculum 

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Lesson Ten

Chapter 10: Studying Text

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Lesson Eleven

Chapter 11:  Learning with Trade Books

Homework quiz

Lesson Twelve

Chapter 12: Supporting Effective Teaching with Professional Development

Homework quiz, Literacy Activity

Final Exam

(Test 2) Covers Chapters 7 through 12

To be scheduled and completed to finalize credit


92 - 100% = A
83 - 91% = B
74 - 82% = C
65 - 73% = D
Below 64% = F

Grading Information
Each student's final course-grade shall be comprised of:

Lessons: 33.3%
Midcourse Test: 33.3%
Final Exam: 33.3%

TOTAL = 100%

Welcome to iStudy

iStudy classes are flexible and self-paced. Our distance learning program allows you to learn anytime, anywhere. Most courses are available online through Blackboard. We also have classes that are paper based. Many are available in both formats. Learn More »

iStudy on Twitter

UM Calendars

UM Academic Calendar