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Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4-12

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,027 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Do your students often struggle with difficult novels and other challenging texts? Do they think one reading of a work is more than enough? Do they primarily comprehend at a surface-level, and are they frequently unwilling or unable to discover the deeper meaning found in multi-layered works? Do you feel that you are doing more work teaching the novel than they are reading ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Stenhouse Publishers
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The Book Whisperer by Donalyn MillerThe First Days Of School by Harry K. WongSavage Inequalities by Jonathan KozolPedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo FreireEducating Esmé by Esmé Raji Codell
books for teachers, educators
83rd out of 475 books — 442 voters
Diary of a Freedom Writer by Darrius GarrettTeaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly GallagherTeaching for Joy and Justice by Linda ChristensenThe Reading Zone by Nancie AtwellReading, Writing, and Rising Up by Linda Christensen
Best Books for English Teachers
9th out of 121 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,089)
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Laura Leaney
Aug 19, 2015 Laura Leaney rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: English teachers
I hovered between a rating of 3 and 4 stars on this. The book has value for English teachers, but like many books chock full of "activities" to elicit deeper meaning from text, it's a little dry, especially on the back end. I like Gallagher's sensibility though. I would trust him as a reader, because he knows that "reading is not an all-or-nothing proposition. There are gray areas." I wish someone would tell the people at Common Core. I also agree with his stance that "learning begins when we en ...more
Mikey T
Mar 22, 2011 Mikey T rated it it was amazing
Deeper Reading should have been titled Teaching Reading for Dummies. Ideally, all teachers want students to walk into class already knowing how to make meaning from the text, revisit it a number of times to deepen their understanding, make metaphorical and reflective connections, and to venture from the text to other texts. But, sadly, this is hardly ever the case. We, as teachers, are the ones responsible for teaching this set of skills that will enable to become frequent and better readers as ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Dawn rated it really liked it
Typically, I am wary of books written from a high school teachers' POV because I feel so much will not be applicable to my very different elementary school universe. This book, however, is filled with ideas for me to try in lessons and in guided reading groups with my fourth graders. I love how Kelly Gallagher writes and love the points he makes about reading instruction. Some of it was beyond my upper elementary school realm, but overall, I'm glad I read it and I'm sure I will continue to refer ...more
Ms. Mulhern Gross
Feb 09, 2011 Ms. Mulhern Gross rated it it was amazing
Must-have resource for all middle and secondary school English teachers!
Jul 28, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
I picked up Kelly Gallagher’s Deeper Reading after reading Gallagher’s Teaching Adolescent Writers. I, like many other teachers, view Gallagher as a teacher rock star, and Deeper Reading does not disappoint. What I like about Gallagher is that he knows what works for teachers because he is a teacher. While his methods are clearly deeply rooted in theory and research, Gallagher presents these methods in a conversational tone, and his books read like a really good teacher-friend giving you practic ...more
Good companion piece to Gallagher's Readicide, in that this work offers some concrete suggestions to help alleviate the issues that Readicide highlights. Gallagher's work can be compared to Kylene Beers and Chris Tovani, and he writes in an easy, conversational style (peppered with baseball analogies and anecdotes), that makes it easy - I think - for beginning teachers to imagine how to use these techniques with students. I'll plan on using this text again in the future.
Chris May
Mar 13, 2015 Chris May rated it really liked it
A really solid book full of strategies, and assignments, for teaching kids the importance of reading and re-reading a text for different purposes to ferret out "deeper meaning" in a text (hence the title). I can see many of these assignments/strategies integrating into my Language Arts curriculum and pumping up the rigor in some of my other projects. Although this book seems more geared to high school, the lessons could be adapted to younger (and older) audiences pretty easily. And although he s ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Kristin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again
Great book....awesome strategies I can use tomorrow, next month, next year. Quick read, entertaining, and insightful. Recommend for all teachers, not just ELA.
Jan 02, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads
The thing I love most about Kelly Gallagher's books is how he offers hands-on ideas that I can directly apply to any of my classes. He doesn't just theorize (in fact he actually theorizes very little). Instead, he structures his books into chapters that have a clear focus and give specific ideas that are often connected to specific literary or nonfiction examples - and he presents them in an engaging way that makes his books into the ultimate stimuli for my teaching brain.
So far I've read "Writ
Aug 23, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it
I liked this book, but I couldn't fall in love with it in the same way I do about works by Penny Kittle or Donalyn Miller. I acknowledge that may be too high a standard for a pedagogical text, but there it is.

This book is highly practical, so it's valuable in that it offers a large number of activities that can be applied to different types of texts, and while his examples often target high school students (or adults), they illustrate how the ideas might be adapted for younger students.

One slig
Jun 26, 2013 Mrsandrukat rated it it was amazing
Amazing I will use it every time I plan a new unit!
Oct 08, 2015 Kelsie rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-reading
This book is full of great strategies, and texts, to use with students. A friend of mine considers it her Bible for the reading program she teaches. My opinion of these strategies are that they are better for motivated readers. When trying to use them with my reluctant readers, they were less likely to engage fully, and therefore got less out of the exercise. Perhaps more of these strategies will apply to my class at the end of the school year, after we have built community, rather than at the b ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it
I have owned a copy of this book for several years, and I've flipped through it for inspiration here and there, but I'd never read it cover to cover until recently. I began before Christmas, reading a few pages between school visits or during lunch, and just finished today.

Because of the disjointed way I read it, I think I was able to let a lot more sink in than if I read it straight through, as I have other Gallagher (and teacher/writer) books. Inbetween activities and pages, I had opportuniti
Mar 13, 2010 GNOWP added it
In Deeper Reading, Kelly shares effective, classroom-tested strategies that enable your students to:

accept the challenge of reading difficult books;
move beyond a "first draft" understanding of the text into deeper levels of reading;
consciously monitor their comprehension as they read;
employ effective fix-it strategies when their comprehension begins to falter;
use meaningful collaboration to achieve deeper understanding of texts;
think metaphorically to deepen their reading comprehension;
reach de
Kelly Gallagher is one of a handful of professional writers I'll drop everything to read. I did..."Readicide", I think, is one of the most important books an English teacher could read. He gives us so many powerful, practical ideas here that support his views about avoiding over-teaching and under-teaching literature.

Gallagher thinks in metaphors, writes in metaphors, and teaches with metaphors. He has packed this book with great ideas, not all of them new, but great ideas to facilitate student
Feb 20, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it
As Gallagher mentions in "Deeper Reading," he has come to think of himself more as a teacher of literacy rather than of literature. Between the two books (Readicide and Deeper Reading), issues of literacy have taken on an urgent tone. Literature may be able to effect profound change, but it's ultimately impotent if individuals are not able to read deeply, or read at all, for that matter. Gallagher's strategies, and the emphasis he places on the importance of including all types of text (Internet ...more
Christina Lear
Jul 14, 2012 Christina Lear rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching-books
This is truly one of the best books out there for teachers of English. Gallagher proposes that there is a difference between assigning reading and teaching reading, and then he lays out what actions teachers need to take to really guide students so they can engage with text on a more meaningful level than most classrooms reach.

His recommendations are going to be more needed than ever as we all approach more rigorous texts with Common Core implementation. Fear not; this book is filled to the brim
Jul 01, 2014 Alice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching-related
Excellent, practical advice based on research (though definitely focused on strategy and reasoning). Though definitely geared toward the English teachers out there, I found many strategies very pertinent to the Social Studies classroom, and think they would work equally well in other content areas. Very useful.
May 14, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
Gallagher offers a ton of solid ideas for making high school English instruction engaging, worthwhile and enjoyable. I started using many strategies from this book right away. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to increase engagement, while preserving rigor, in a secondary English class.
Jun 29, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: teacher-books
Read this for a literacy class. I really liked it. All about how to teach students how to read more deeply. A lot of it is common sense (prior knowledge, first read, second read, collaboration and reflection) but I found many of the strategies good. I particularly liked his focus on metaphor and how to use this when reading to deepen understanding. Great read for teachers of grades 4 and up.
Kari G
May 18, 2011 Kari G rated it it was amazing
As a fairly inexperienced teacher this is the BEST teaching resource I have read to date. This resource has lots of helpful ideas and tips. It doesn't try to tell me what to teach or how to teach it, it reads more like a memior of what Ghallagher has done and what he has learned. Even though it is a book by a teacher for teachers, I felt like I was part of Ghallager's classroom, deciding for myself what I enjoyed and didn't enjoy about his teaching style. I appreciated the way he suggested texts ...more
May 13, 2015 Maren rated it really liked it
I read this book last summer, and used several of the techniques in my classroom this year. Looking at characters from a metaphorical point of view really helped my students' understanding and enthusiasm, and I look forward to incorporating more of his ideas next year.
May 21, 2013 N rated it liked it
Shelves: education-theory
I'm eager to compare this book to Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It. I felt at numerous time sin this book that his activities killed the joy in reading. I think, however, that this was partly influenced by my recent reading of Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers. We'll see. I plan to read Redicide this summer.
May 14, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
Outstanding practical strategies for helping teachers assist their students in digging deeper into the reading of challenging texts. Love the way Gallagher describes himself as less of a literature teacher and more of a literacy teacher. He stresses that the ultimate goal is not to just develop students into analyzers of literature, but "to develop these cognitive skills
to a level where they may be transferred beyond the classroom." He quotes Paulo Freire who said "the world is a difficult text.
Feb 10, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing

Do not teach another whole-class text again until you read DEEPER READING by Kelly Gallagher.

I have been on a crusade for the past couple years that I would never teach another whole class novel again after I realized what it did to my love of reading in high school. I equated whole-class texts with the death of my love of reading.

Kelly Gallagher has helped me to see that it doesn't have to be that way. There are so many wonderful lessons and activities that can apply t
Theresa Maher
Aug 02, 2008 Theresa Maher rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: frustrated English teachers
Recommended to Theresa by: read it for a class
Shelves: teachingbooksj
For my English teacher friends, this book is a must! While most reading books focus on how to help challenged readers, this one focuses on how to make meaning out of more difficult texts for average and above average readers. Gallahger's ideas are fresh, engaging and meaningful. With every chapter, I found a lesson or strategy that I can't wait to implement. Gallagher uses examples from novels that he himself has taught and sites them by name. I found specific strategies that tie directly to nov ...more
Katherine Clark
I am about halfway through this book, and I can't believe how fantastic it is. Part of what I like is that some of what he says, I already do with my students, and I kind of figured that out on my own. But much of what he says is new to me, and I am going to use his suggestions/advice in my basic writing college classes and in my comp class at an art school. I am so excited for this semester. I can not recommend this book more highly, and am eager to dive into his other books that I also checked ...more
Karalee Hoge
Aug 27, 2015 Karalee Hoge rated it it was amazing
These are real and applicable strategies for teaching Reading, especially with ELLs. His humor in how he presents his strategies keep you engaged and wanting to read more.
Jul 14, 2014 Kristi rated it really liked it
This book had a lot of great strategies. I particularly like the chapter on using metaphorical strategies to deepen understanding of difficult text.
Renee Hickman
May 28, 2014 Renee Hickman rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend anything Kelly Gallagher publishes. His common sense approach to teaching reading and writing have changed the way I view effective instruction.
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