Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning, 10th Edition

  • J. David Cooper
  • Michael D. Robinson
  • Jill Ann Slansky
  • Nancy D. Kiger
  • ISBN-10: 1305960602
  • ISBN-13: 9781305960602
  • 544 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2015, 2012, 2006
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

A leading resource for K–8 literacy programs, this extremely popular reading methods text has a simple goal: to provide aspiring teachers with the tools to help every student learn to read and write. LITERACY: HELPING STUDENTS CONSTRUCT MEANING, 10th Edition has been completely reorganized to better meet the changing needs of college and university instructors; for instance, with early coverage of assessment in recognition of its foundational nature. This text continues to provide pre-service and in-service teachers with the information, strategies, and techniques they need to assist their students in becoming literate. It is distinguished in the field by its use of practical literacy lessons and authentic examples of children's literature, which clearly demonstrate how to teach reading and writing. The Common Core State Standards are also fully integrated throughout the text, and full-color children's stories (in excerpts or in their entirety) model extended literacy lessons.


  • Comprehensive "Literacy Lessons," based on the Common Core standards, provide detailed examples of how to develop and teach an effective literacy lesson. Multilevel notes within each lesson indicate how it can be used with students of varying abilities and backgrounds.

  • A new feature entitled "Increasing Success for English Language Learners" provides an expanded emphasis on English Language Learners (ELL) and includes practical strategies for use by classroom teachers.

  • Reflecting the increasing focus on Response to Intervention (RTI) and Tiers of Intervention, Chapter 10 includes information to help teachers understand, identify, and manage whatever level of intervention a student might require.

  • The "How Do I Teach?" feature at the end of each chapter lists specific pages where aspiring teachers will find useful strategies and techniques for effective teaching using the chapter content.

  • "Word Skills: Phonics and Structural Analysis for Teachers," a handbook resource at the back of the text, is designed to help teachers develop the content of phonics and structural analysis.

  • "Good Books and Where to Find Them," located at the back of the book, indexes all of the literature referenced in the text and lists additional award-winning books and resources to help prospective teachers keep up with new literary offerings.


"I chose this book because it is full of great, detailed information, …it has online resources, and it covered what I needed but it wasn't too much to cover in one semester."
— Chessica Cave, Lincoln Memorial University

About the Author

J. David Cooper

J. David Cooper (Ed.D., Indiana University) is a retired professor from Ball State University. Prior to teaching at the college level, he taught at elementary and secondary schools in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Cooper has served as a consultant to the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., numerous state departments of education, and school systems throughout the country. Active in the International Reading Association, he has spoken in all 50 states and eight countries. Dr. Cooper has authored or coauthored more than 20 books on the teaching of reading. He has served as an editor of the Indiana Reading Quarterly and as a reviewer for such leading journals as The Reading Teacher, Journal of Reading, and National Reading Conference Yearbook. Currently, Dr. Cooper continues to write and resides in Key West, Florida.

Michael D. Robinson

Michael D. Robinson (M.S. Ball State University) retired as the curriculum support specialist and Director of Reading, English, and Language Arts K–12 as well as the coordinator of multi-tiered systems of support (MTTS) and Problem Solving/Response to Intervention (PS/RtI) for Monroe County Public Schools in Florida. Formerly, he was a Curriculum Support Specialist in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools where he developed curriculum and served as a Master Coach in reading and language arts. He taught second, third, and fourth grades and was a Title I Coordinator, Reading Specialist, and Federal Grants Coordinator in Marion, Indiana. Mr. Robinson, who supervised student teachers while studying at the University of Illinois, is coauthor of SUCCESS WITH RTI: EASY, RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING RTI, and CORE READING INSTRUCTION IN YOUR CLASSROOM.

Jill Ann Slansky

Jill Ann Slansky (Ed.D. University of Colorado) is a retired National Reading Consultant and University professor. She has taught many courses in Reading/Language Arts, Assessment, and Curriculum Development. In addition, she has provided Professional development for teachers in 49 states and three foreign countries. Her strong knowledge of practical classroom techniques comes from her experience as an elementary teacher, a middle school remedial reading teacher, and a teacher of special education children. Currently, Ms. Slansky serves on the Board of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

Nancy D. Kiger

Nancy D. Kiger (Ed.D., Ball State University) worked for more than 40 years in education. In her last 15 years of teaching, at the University of Central Florida's College of Education, she taught courses in reading, language arts, and children's literature as well as supervised student teachers. She also taught at universities in Indiana and Missouri. She began teaching as an elementary classroom teacher and later taught reading at the elementary and middle-school levels in Indiana. She was a writer and editor of literacy materials for over 25 years. Nancy Kiger died in 2009.

Table of Contents

1. What You Need to Know to Be an Effective Literacy Teacher.
2. Frameworks for Effective Standards-Based Literacy Lessons.
3. Assessment and Evaluation that Informs Instruction.
4. Prior Knowledge: Activating and Developing Concepts and Vocabulary.
5. How to Teach Strategies for Constructing Meaning.
6. Beginning Literacy.
7. Intermediate Grades and Middle School: Decoding, Vocabulary, and Meaning.
8. Responding and the Construction of Meaning.
9. Writing and the Construction of Meaning.
10. Helping Struggling Readers.
11. Developing a Management System for a Comprehensive Balanced Literacy Classroom.
Good Books and Where to Find Them.
Handbook Resource Word Skills: Phonics and Structural Analysis for Teachers.

New to this edition

  • Because of its foundational nature, the chapter on assessment appears earlier in the text (in Chapter 3 instead of Chapter 10).
  • Every chapter has been rewritten or reorganized, including updates to references and research, to give teachers the current research-based perspectives they need to develop effective strategies for teaching literacy.
  • Opening scenarios in every chapter make real-life connections with classrooms, teachers, and K–8 students. The scenarios are revisited within the chapter to help users of the text gain a better practical understanding of chapter content.
  • A new feature entitled "Increasing Success for English Language Learners" provides an expanded emphasis on English Language Learners (ELL) and includes practical strategies for classroom teachers to use.
  • The "Good Books and Where to Find Them" section at the end of the book has been updated with the most recent award winners. In addition, the "For Additional Reading" section at the end of each chapter has been updated, allowing teachers to easily locate helpful information about pertinent and user-friendly sources.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1337276510 | ISBN-13: 9781337276511)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Cooper/Robinson/Slansky/Kiger’s Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning  (ISBN-10: 1337103454 | ISBN-13: 9781337103459)

MindTap Education 1 term (6 months) for Cooper/Robinson/Slansky/Kiger's Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning, 10th Edition is a first-of-its kind digital solution with an integrated eportfolio. MindTap prepares teachers by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and competencies they must demonstrate to earn an education degree and state licensure, and to begin a successful career. Through activities based on real-life teaching situations, MindTap elevates students' thinking by giving them experiences in applying concepts, practicing skills, and evaluating decisions, guiding them to become reflective educators.

Student Supplements

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Cooper/Robinson/Slansky/Kiger’s Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning  (ISBN-10: 1337103454 | ISBN-13: 9781337103459)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap Education you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books: the MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards with the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students. Need to see concepts in action? Watch videos featuring real teachers and students to see how key topics from the text look in real-life classrooms. Want problem-solving practice before stepping into a classroom? Real-world scenarios offer the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to realistic teaching and learning scenarios. Artifacts you create to address the scenario are automatically saved to a free eportfolio so you can showcase your work to future employers.