The advent of this collection of short, complex texts from the National Paideia Center is the answer that teachers everywhere are seeking as they look for a resource to help them infuse depth of meaning into their instruction.
The standards that guide our teaching increasingly demand that we provide instruction in close reading for our students, to enable them to comprehend rigor and complexity. Selecting texts that meet the standards’ requirements is a challenge. What is rigor, anyway? Should a teacher just pick out something that is hard to read? How can I be sure that students will read it and understand what they are reading? What if it does not interest them?
This volume provides the support that teachers need. It is a collection of classic stories, poems, maps, pictures and visual texts that contain complex ideas that delight and inspire learners from early childhood through high school. Over the years we have found that any text selected by the National Paideia Center contains a richness of ideas to uncover; it is a text that inspires readers to come back to it, to think it over, and to talk and write about it. Important ideas are interesting to students of all ages and thinking about complex ideas enriches students’ lives. There is no reason to delay teaching thinking until a child is a fluent reader; there is every reason in the world to be scaffolding support for children to thoughtfully engage with ideas that matter.
Teachers will welcome this collection of Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts texts that are dense with ideas and full of potential for profound thought and conversation.