Read the World

  • Title:Read the World: Rethinking Literacy for Empathy and Action in a Digital Age
  • Author:Kristin Ziemke, Katie Muhtaris
  • Publication Date:2020
  • Grade Level:K-8
  • ISBN:9780325108919
  • Publisher:Heinemann

Our society is flooded with technology. It enables people to connect, it amplifies voices, and it has the power to enrich lives. Yet our society can be so distracted by the possibilities of technology that we can forget it is our humanity—and the stories we share—that make it meaningful. As educators, it is up to us to ensure that students know how to use all the resources available to them to think critically and compassionately about the world.

In Read the World, Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris draw from their own rich pedagogical background and classroom experience to provide teaching strategies and flexible lessons that support students in acquiring the skills they need to thrive—academically, socially, and emotionally—in today’s digital world. Kristin and Katie layer research-based instructional strategies, a student-centered approach, and strategic use of technology to outline a path that:

  • builds upon what students already know about reading and interacting with print and provides new strategies for comprehending digital mediums like images, web content, eText, and more
  • provides practical suggestions for centering curricula around empathy
  • supports student agency and engages learners to employ the skills they’ve learned to take action on issues to benefit the lives of others, as well as their own
  • offers resources, guidelines, and suggestions for teachers to help ensure that students are accessing print and digital stories which reflect their own experiences and a wide array of experiences that differ from their own.

Each chapter offers lessons with target outcomes to help you assess students' growth and invites you to reflect on the work as it unfolds in your classroom.

Our students have been raised in a digital culture; now we need to guide them to use technology to tell their stories, hear the stories of others, and take action. With modeling, explicit instruction, and time for practice, we can—and must—teach students to build bridges, eliminate barriers, and thrive in this world. Start where it makes sense for your school and community and provide students the tools, teaching, and opportunity to rethink literacy and read the world.


Author Bio

Katie Muhtaris is Nationally Board Certified as a Middle Childhood Generalist and holds a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership. She also leads staff development in person around the country and digitally around the globe on Inquiry-based learning, technology integration, and reading comprehension strategies. 

Kristin Ziemke is an urban school educator and an author. Recognized as an international expert in literacy, inquiry, and technology, Kristin works with schools around the world to develop learning experiences that are student-centered, personalized, and authentic.

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