Content Reading Strategies That Work

Literacy and Content Area Reading Strategies For Academic Success

Boost student achievement with rigor, relevance and literacy strategies for academic success. Designed for high school teachers of all disciplines, the session will demonstrate that teachers don't have to sacrifice content or become a reading teacher. Teachers will find out how to support their subject area while building student literacy skills in mastering vocabulary, comprehension and analysis. Custom workshops available -  from a few hours to a few days.

by Peter Pappas  Contact me for information on bringing my workshop to your school.


Twitter: edteck

Read / Think / Write / Publish The power of publishing enables students to think like writers, to apply their learning strategies and to organize and express their learning. NEW SITE!


Visit my Blog and download
Literacy Strategies for the Multi-Ability Classroom:
"Toolkit" for the non-reader, the word-caller and the turned-off reader.



Model School Conference 2006
Orlando FL

Viewable pdf of
Peter's presentations.

Rigor, Relevance and Reading
for High Performing Students
 1.5 MB pdf

“Hi Mr. Pappas … I was completely moved, motivated and excited about your Rigor, Relevance and Reading class … I cannot wait for school to begin again so I can put your ideas and strategies into practice! I wanted to thank you for reenergizing me and giving me solid strategies that I can take back to the classroom!!!”


Model School Conference 2005
Nashville TN

Viewable pdf's of
Peter's presentations.

Rigor, Relevance and Reading
for Struggling to Average Readers
1.4 MB pdf

Rigor, Relevance and Reading
for High Performing Students
  2.1 MB pdf

"Peter, I enjoyed your presentations at Nashville.  I especially liked how you made me think, rather than told me what to think. ...Keep up the good work."



Peter's recent workshops in Comprehension Strategies in the Content Areas


TeachME International Education Conference, Dubai, UAE


Keynote: Texas State Social Studies Supervisors Conference, Austin TX

Northwest Regional Educational Service District, Hillsboro, OR

Summer Institute
Oregon Department of Education

Portland OR


Newberg Public Schools
Newberg OR


Central School District 13J, Independence OR

Elizabeth Forward School District, Elizabeth PA

Grayson County Schools

Grayson County KY


Gaining on the Gap Conference,
DuPage ROE, Chicago IL


Concordia Parish Schools,

Concordia Parish LA


Las Cruses Public School District
Las Cruces NM


Lemon Bay High School
Englewood FL

Colonial School District
Plymouth Meeting PA


Pope High School
Marietta GA


L'Anse Creuse Public Schools
L'Anse Creuse MI


Lindenwold High School
Lindenwold NJ


Learning Through Literacy Conference
Toronto Canada


Wilson County Schools
Nashville, TN


Delran Township Schools
Delran NJ


Chaminade College Preparatory School Los Angeles, CA


School City of Hobart

Hobart, IN


Parkland High School

Winston-Salem, NC


Winnfield Senior High School
Winnfield, LA


Killingly Public Schools
Danielson, CT


Casa Grande Union High School
Casa Grande AZ 


Brownsburg Community School Corporation, Brownsburg IN

Model School Conference
Washington D. C. 


Burlington High School
Burlington MA

NYS Office of Children
and Family Services

Albany NY


Additional resources and publications 
from Peter Pappas

Homefront America in WW II
A sample document-based activity that
improves content reading comprehension

Teaching With Documents a guide to document-based instruction. Winner of Philadelphia Inquirer's "10 Best Educational Sites" Recommended by DistrictAdministration Magazine's Dr. Hotlist

Designs for Rigor and Relevance - master rigor and relevance in your social studies classroom - lessons, activities, assessments and standards. 

I'm proud to have been part of the creation of two small learning communities - the Ninth Grade Academy and the Summer Prep School. Small Learning Communities that Work In each case we first, assembled a team of educators to forge a common vision of teaching and learning. Then schools were organized to accomplish this vision.


Timeline series:  I'm proud to serve as a consultant to Timeline a series of graphic novels that combine exciting fiction, fascinating historical facts and lavish illustrations. Reading levels 4-8. Interest levels 4-12.

Sample workshop videos from 2006 Oregon Superintendent’s Summer Institute
Rigor, Relevance and Reading for Struggling to Average Readers 

Digital Publishing – Academic Success for Struggling Readers and Writers

 In RealPlayer
Download RealPlayer

Teachers comment on Peter's Workshops
Contact me for information on bringing my workshop to your school.

"Thank you, you made me think! I have some ideas I'm ready to try next week."

"The workshop far exceeded my expectations - I finally have REAL activities and strategies to use in the classroom - not just theories."

“Informative and inspirational.”

“With the reminder of these strategies, I’m seeing how I can be a better teacher.”

"It's great to get new ideas that are directly related to practice and can be used right away."

“Great examples and wonderful tools. Applicable to all disciplines.”

“After today’s presentation, I’m thinking about changes that I want to make in my teaching strategies.”

"Helped me to think about Bloom's taxonomy in a real way -- what is that I want to student to learn?  How can I involve them in their learning?"

“A beautiful presentation – matching rigor and relevance with reading strategies – smart, calm ideas to take home.”

“Peter is an eloquent presenter. His PowerPoint had education substance to take back to a real school environment. Audience participation kept interest and attention.”

“Excellent combination of theory and hands-on, practical advice. PowerPoint use was extremely effective and engaging.”

"It extended my thinking and reminded me not to settle for lower-level thinking."


"Educators must figure out how to ensure that every student gets beyond the basic literacy skills of the early elementary grades, to the more challenging and more rewarding literacy of the middle and secondary school years.

Inevitably, this will require, for many of those students, teaching them new literacy skills: how to read purposefully, select materials that are of interest, learn from those materials, figure out the meanings of unfamiliar words, integrate new information with information previously known, resolve conflicting content in different texts, differentiate fact from opinion, and recognize the perspective of the writer—in short, they must be taught how to comprehend."
80 KB pdf report | more

Biancarosa, G., and Snow, C. E. (2004.) Reading Next—A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy: A Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

"Overall, the data paint a sobering portrait of the literacy levels of U.S. adolescents. It is clear that simply mandating standards and assessments is not going to guarantee success. Unless we, as a nation, are prepared to focus attention and resources on this issue, our schools are likely to continue producing students who lack skills and are ill-prepared to deal with the demands of post-secondary education and the workplace.

Policymakers, schools, and teachers need to step up and accept the “orphaned responsibility” of teaching students to read to learn. The costs of inattention are very high, in both personal and economic terms." 
309 KB  pdf report | more

Achieving State and National Literacy Goals, a Long Uphill Road: A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York by Jennifer Sloan McCombs, Sheila Nataraj Kirby, Heather Barney, Hilary Darilek, Scarlett J. Magee. TR-180-EDU, 2004

"Students come to school equipped to learn on many levels, using multiple pathways and drawing on multiple intelligences, but today’s curricula do not meet their needs, and too often school is the least engaging part of a student’s day. Schools do their students a disservice when they fail to teach literacy in the expressive new language that their students have already begun to use before they even arrive. ...

21st century literacy is the set of abilities and skills where aural, visual and digital literacy overlap. These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms."

808 KB  pdf report | more

"A Global Imperative: The Report of the 21st Century Literacy Summit" The New Media Consortium, 2499 S Capital of Texas Highway,  Building A, Suite 202,  Austin, TX 78746t   ISBN 0-9765087-1-0

According to the NGA report, “Reading to Achieve: A Governor’s Guide to Adolescent Literacy,” just three of 10 U.S. 8th graders are proficient readers and almost 40 percent of high school graduates lack the reading and writing skills that employers seek. Too often, the report charges, emphasis on literacy ends at the 3rd grade, and heavy investments in early literacy skills “are tempered by the weak literacy instruction students encounter in middle and high schools.”  By 4th grade, many youngsters still struggle with writing for various reasons, including poor vocabulary, insufficient background knowledge, inadequate reading strategies, and a lack of motivation to read, the NGA report adds.

"Reading to Achieve: A Governor's Guide to Adolescent Literacy" Copyright ©2005 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. All rights reserved. ISBN 1-55877-400-9

878 KB  pdf report

"Reading is a basic human right. ...Yet, despite the fundamental importance of reading to personal fulfillment and two decades of rising academic standards and student achievement, the education system still needs to address one of our nation’s most serious problems: that approximately 70 percent of adolescents struggle to read....The simple and sad fact is that very large numbers of students entering secondary school cannot comprehend factual information from their subject matter texts and struggle to form general understandings, develop interpretations, and make text connections."

"Reading at Risk: The State Response to the Crisis in Adolescent Literacy", Copyright ©2005 National Association of State Boards of Education All rights reserved. ISBN 1-58434-064-9.

56KB  pdf report

Copyright © 2004-2012, 
Peter Pappas
, unless otherwise noted,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.