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Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4-12

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,384 ratings  ·  146 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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4.41  · 
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 ·  1,384 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Mikey T
Mar 22, 2011 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
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had three reactions to this book:

1. I already do or want to do some of these practices, yay.

2. This is a really neat explanation of why we do what we do and why to teach reading in a certain way, with an emphasis on background knowledge, rereading, graphic organizers that help build metaphorical thinking over literal comprehension and guiding readers.

3. These are simple tricks that are easy to implement across age groups and texts.
Laura Leaney
Aug 19, 2015 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
Feb 07, 2011 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
Sarah Gross
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Must-have resource for all middle and secondary school English teachers!
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
1. This was a great book for me to read with the book 17,000 Classroom Visits Can't Be Wrong. In that book it showed me how to teach rigor and this book helped push me in that direction too.
2. I picked up this book because I use Kelly Gallagher's online articles in my classroom.
3. I definitely have a new tool box for my classroom.
4. I struggle with using groups in my room and just started this year to add rigor so I was glad to see information about group work in this book.
5. When I started
Jul 28, 2012 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
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pedagogy
Another Gallagher blockbuster! Deeper Reading explores how teachers can get kids to not just fake read or highjack others who have done the work. He sets up the justification for incorporating choice and an open-workshop type atmosphere in the classroom. He also touts the idea of giving kids the space and time to read in the classroom. Great practical ideas that I can see readily incoporpating into my own classroom.
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.
Heather Munao
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
This book offered a philosophy (first draft reading and second draft reading) which makes sense when you think about how nicely it connects to what we try to tell kids about editing, drafting, etc. He offered a lot of suggestions/strategies for "second draft" reading ideas. I put bookmarks all over it! Gallagher really makes me want to be a great teacher.
Kristin Higgins Seed
Jan 12, 2011 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.
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing I will use it every time I plan a new unit!
Jeni Enjaian
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Unlike "Readicide," this book is designed for deep study, pun intended. I intend to pull this book back out this coming summer as I work on redesigning my lessons for the next school year. (As long as I am still teaching ELA and the same grade level...if I teach something else next year I will be designing the lessons rather than redesigning them.) I love Gallagher's approach to teaching literature. I would have loved to have been one of his students. That is not a slam against my own high schoo ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been teaching English for about 20 years, and I read this book seeking ways to help aid struggling readers, something I've been seeing more and more recently. He has very concrete steps to help students read texts better. I like how he refers to reading as "first draft" and "second draft" readings, and I can see using t-charts, essential questions, key words, and metaphors in the texts I teach. I'm not sure I agreed with him on multiple choice tests being too basic--you can construct higher ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other-nonfiction
Everything in this book works hand in hand with Reading Apprenticeship and in many cases, I'm finding the same thoughts and ideas in both. What I like most about this book, however, is the specific examples and clear ideas for application. It's very inspiring. I have already taken his strategies into the classroom with great results with my kids. The activities are fun and engaging and it's really helping my struggling readers to dive back into the text.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rachel by: a teacher friend
Shelves: professional
I read this as part of a professional development activity as a teacher.

I found the book to be highly readable and full of many excellent activities that I can't wait to try next school year.

I highly recommend it for anyone looking for new reading and discussion activities, whether you're a new or veteran teacher or somewhere in between.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gallagher does a great job teaching how to teach literacy. With this text, I believe I can add many strategies into my classroom and I'm excited to have this book on my shelf as a reference when I feel unmotivated or non creative.
Anna Gritters
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was very pleasantly surprised by this particular resource. The only thing keeping it from being a five-star book is the fact that it's a bit outdated (2004). However, many of the activities and studies are still relevant.
Anna Dunlap
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Every teacher should read this one!
Keri Gust
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book. I want to read everything Gallagher now!! He inspired me to start this online book community.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-2017
This is a wonderful book that shares some wonderful insights into how to teach older readers to read more deeply. I loved that the strategies shared are not complicated and will be easy to implement!
Kristin Bateman
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was assigned this book for a graduate class I'm currently taking, and didn't have the highest expectations because well, 1.) It's a "school book" and 2.) Teachers are horrible students, in general.

My mind was blown! This text is INCREDIBLE and has so much to offer that will totally shift how I teach reading, and I admittedly have been teaching for fifteen years. What floors me even more is the copyright is 2004...and what Gallagher was suggesting was unheard of in pedagogy at the time. Now wh
Jul 14, 2015 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
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 07, 2011 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 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
I don't know if it's from more than twenty years of teaching special education or the fact that I have taught every level from preschool through high school but I didn't find this book illuminating. Gallagher talks about focusing the reader and activating prior knowledge as if this is something new. I learned that as an undergrad and was required to demonstrate it in lesson plans during student teaching in every lesson. The strategies that he presents, for the most part, are "old hat" to me. Gal ...more
Alex Harrow
Dec 28, 2013 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
Mar 12, 2010 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
Feb 07, 2011 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
Mar 26, 2012 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
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