Connecting Content with Literacy: Dynamic Strategies for Comprehension

(Grades 6-12) / Semester Course

PDI Course Number: 121BXX / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40398


Course Description

As a teacher in grades 6-12, do you struggle to incorporate literacy and comprehension best practices into your content-area classes? This online course provides teachers in grades 6-12 with a plethora of research-based strategies to tackle substantive literacy issues within their content-area classrooms. Teachers will learn how to incorporate vocabulary strategies within their content-area classrooms, and they will learn how to motivate students to read with cross-curricular reading strategies. Teachers will learn how to foster fluency within the content areas so that students’ speaking and listening skills are actively employed. Teachers will explore a variety of writing strategies that can be used during everyday content-focused lessons. Teachers will be introduced to the backwards planning process so that they understand how beginning with and always keeping the end result in mind helps ensure that literacy concepts are not left out of their content-area lessons. An overview of assessment will be shared, and teachers will learn a variety of strategies for assessing their students’ literacy skills, both formally and informally. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to implement research-based literacy strategies into their own teaching practices within the content areas. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$170 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

$366 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List



UCSD Course Number: EDUC40398
Unit One
  • What is literacy?
  • The Big Five
  • Factors that Influence Literacy Development
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography/Write an article reflection
Unit Two
  • Academic and Content Area Vocabulary Acquisition
  • Vocabulary Strategies for Reading/ELA
  • Vocabulary Strategies for Math and Science
  • Vocabulary Strategies for History and Social Studies
  • Assignment #2: Plan a vocabulary lesson
Unit Three
  • Strategies to Build Reading Comprehension Skills
  • Dealing with Dyslexia
  • Motivating Students to Read with Cross-Curricular Strategies
  • Assignment #3: Design a motivating activity
Unit Four
  • Fostering Fluency within the Content Areas
  • Promoting Speaking and Listening Skills with Special Needs Students
  • Active Speaking and Listening Strategies for the 6-12 Classroom
  • Assignment #4: Revise a lesson to promote speaking and listening skills
Unit Five
  • Unpacking the Common Core Writing Standards
  • Writing Strategies for the Everyday Lesson
  • Essay Writing in the Content Areas
  • Assignment #5: Reflect on a writing strategy
Unit Six
  • An Overview of Assessment
  • Strategies for Informal Assessments
  • Strategies for Formal Assessments
  • Assignment #6: Plan a unit using the backwards planning method
  • Assignment #7: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)


Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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