Noting that children must be provided with the opportunity to read various types of text as early as possible if they are to develop into strategic and self-directed readers, this paper presents research evidence to show that every text type makes unique demands on readers. The first section of the paper discusses reading in the school context, including the roles of text in children’s learning, and the teacher’s role in using text as a learning tool. The second section discusses different types of texts, their characteristic properties, and differing comprehension processes for different types of texts. The third section elaborates on content area (social studies, science, and mathematics) texts and the cognitive demands of each. The fourth section discusses research evidence and some issues related to learning from texts. The last section draws implications and proposes suggestions for improving reading instruction.
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