Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-area Reading

Front Cover
Heinemann, 2004 - Education - 276 pages
2 Reviews

Finally, a book about content-area reading that's just as useful to math, science, and history teachers as it is to English teachers! Lively, practical, and irreverent, Subjects Matter points the way to activities and materials that energize content and engage students across all subject areas. Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman, authors of a dozen influential books on literacy and cofounders of Best Practice High School, bring their trademark style-teacher friendly and kid wise-to the reality of today's middle and high schools.

Their book features:

  • 23 practical classroom activities that help students understand and remember what they read, in mathematics, science, social studies, English, and more
  • a tough analysis of today's textbooks, along with specific ways to use them more effectively
  • a new "balanced diet" of reading, including 150 real books of interest to teenage readers
  • instructions for growing a rich classroom library in your subject area
  • plans for setting up student book clubs and reading groups in any discipline
  • group-building techniques that create a productive community of readers
  • a do-it-yourself exploration of the ways smart readers think
  • models for developing ambitious thematic units within your classroom or with colleagues
  • special help and materials for students who struggle
  • scientific proof that the book's recommended activities do improve reading and learning.
Punctuated by stories from real math, science, social studies, and other classrooms, Subjects Matter shows how young people can read and succeed across the curriculum, and how their teachers can help.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RhondaMarie - LibraryThing

This is a book shows how to make the process of reading visible to the child. They give activities to do before, during and after reading. For every activity they give a description, reason(s) to use ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - goodnightmoon - LibraryThing

Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman have earned a solid place on my "I'll read everything they write" list. The authors of Best Practice, they articulate the concerns you have about your students ... Read full review


How Smart Readers Think
Why Textbooks Are Not Enough
Toward a Balanced Diet of Reading

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About the author (2004)

Harvey "Smokey" Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs, as recounted in Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Minilessons for Literature Circles. Smokey has recently coauthored four bestselling books on content-area literacy: Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading; Comprehension & Collaboration; Subjects Matter, and Content-Area Writing. He is also coauthor of the new Best Practice, Fourth Edition and The Best Practice Video Companion as well as editor of Comprehension Going Forward. Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers. Listen to an interview with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels on Education Talk Radio - 12/19/2011 (41:13)

Steven Zemelman has worked in many capacities to promote the sustainability of innovative schools in Chicago. For eight years he directed the Center for City Schools at National-Louis University, and he is a founding director of the Illinois Writing Project. He has spearheaded the start of a number of innovative small high schools in the city. His experiences and research in these areas led to his Heinemann book 13 Steps to Teacher Empowerment, coauthored with Harry Ross. Steve has been a frequent collaborator with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels. They have coauthored seven books and videos with Heinemann, including Subjects Matter, Second Edition; Best Practice, Fourth Edition, and The Best Practice Video Companion; Content-Area Writing; Rethinking High School and its companion video; and A Community of Writers. These books are filled with practical strategies for making writing, reading, the content areas, and indeed the life of a school itself into a deeper and richer learning experience for kids. Zemelmen and Daniels are known for immediately useful teaching strategies that range from brief, easy-to-use reflections that help students learn right in class to bigger public-writing projects that can make school truly memorable for kids and teachers alike. Steve consults with schools and districts around the country and may be contacted directly at

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