AL5. Extended Discussion of Text Meaning

Course Progress


Extended discussion of text meaning as an instructional practice has been found to result in strong literacy outcomes for adolescents. The sustained text-based exchanges between teachers and students during this practice help students develop their ability to describe and support rationale for points of view, incorporate background knowledge and personal experience, and listen to others’ perspectives. 

Time estimate: 3 hours

  • Extended Discussion of Text Meaning
    • Pre-Assessment
    • 1. Introduction to Extended Discussion of Text Meaning
    • 2. Preparing for Extended Discussion of Meaning
    • 3. Supporting Extended Discussion of Meaning
    • 4. A Discussion Protocol Example: Socratic Seminar
    • 5. Engaging All Learners in Extended Discussion
    • 6. Summing It Up
    • Post-Assessment
    • Module Evaluation
How to use this Module


Welcome to the Adolescent Literacy series in the Ohio Literacy Library! This is an ever-expanding series featuring modules designed to support educators and other interested stakeholders of adolescents who desire to support their acquisition of literacy in the upper primary, middle, and high school grades. Strong literacy skills are essential for adolescents, as they are required to: (1) read to learn in a variety of disciplines; (2) build their knowledge by working with different text types, acquiring academic vocabulary, and sharing their ideas and impressions with others; and (3) master reading comprehension to take full advantage of instruction in content-area classes (Kamil et al., 2008). These skills are essential for success not only in upper grades, but beyond in the workplace and postsecondary education as well. This series aims to support readers with evidence-based practices that provide adolescent learners engaging and relevant practice both inside and outside the classroom. 


Completion of The Simple View of Reading comprehensive learning module, or sufficient background knowledge of the Simple View of Reading.

Module Description

This module presents extended discussion of text meaning and interpretation as a method to improve adolescent literacy.  It offers an overview of discussion formats and protocols that are easily implemented in the classroom. The benefits of engaging students in text-based discussions are highlighted. It aims to make you aware of the impact text-based discussion can have on reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. You will encounter methods of preparing for extended discussion of text meaning, implementing different discussion protocols, and see ways to scaffold these discussions so that all learners are able to reap their rewards through equal participation.

The module aligns with Recommendation #3: Provide Opportunities for Extended Discussion of Text Meaning and Interpretation in the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) Practice Guide – Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices. To this end, this module is designed to assist all educators, including English Language Arts and content-area teachers, in helping students gain more from their reading.

Learning Objectives

Number 1

Identify how extended discussions on text can increase students’ reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, engagement, and motivation.

Number 2

Implement questioning practices that effectively promote rich and evidence-based conversations on text meaning.

Number 3

Plan and facilitate extended discussion on text meaning and interpretation within content area classes.

Number 4

Scaffold discussion skills for equitable participation and learning during discussion-based activities.

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