Paired texts: A way into the content area

Lisa Ciecierski, William Bintz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Finding materials to help students make connections is difficult for many teachers across all grade levels. Traditionally, the textbook is the primary resource for instruction. Textbooks, however, do not naturally support students in making connections across texts. To do this, teachers must find other resources. Finding other resources is particularly important at this time because many teachers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for students to learn how to make connections across texts. Teachers feel a sense of urgency because of the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). One standard in particular requires that students should be able to analyze two or more texts for a variety of purposes: to build knowledge, examine similarities and differences in the approaches authors take, and make connections between themes and topics, events, and characters of texts. This process of making connections between and across texts is often referred to as intertextuality. During the intertextual process, readers make connections with past readings, prior ideas, and previous literary experiences to construct an evolving text (Chi, 2012). In other words, intertextuality posits that no text ever stands alone; rather, every text is connected to other texts. The challenge is this: How can teachers teach intertextuality? How can teachers help students make connections across texts and also across content areas? This article presents lessons learned from our collaborative inquiry project into the world of intertextuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-44
Number of pages13
JournalMiddle School Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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