Text Reading Supports in Social Studies Content Instruction and Their Relationship to Student Knowledge Acquisition


The authors examined social studies teachers’ use of text and supports for reading text during their instruction as well as how their practices related to students’ content acquisition. A total of 37 social studies teachers and their students (n = 572) participated and recorded their instruction during three instructional units. The authors documented the amount of time teachers engaged in text reading and text reading support. The authors assessed students on social studies content knowledge and noted text reading activities in about 10% of the class instruction. The total numbers of minutes spent in text reading and providing support in reading comprehension strategies were significantly related to student content acquisition. Examination of differences in this relationship by student pretest demonstrated that increases in text reading during instruction were associated with increased scores on content acquisition for lower-level students. There were no significant associations between text reading practices and content acquisition for higher-performing students.


Wanzek, J., Martinez, L., Fall, A.-M., Roberts, G., Stillman, S., & Kent, S. C. (2018). Text reading supports in social studies content instruction and their relationship to student knowledge acquisition. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 34(4), 349–360. doi:10.1080/10573569.2018.1446858