International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

Teaching with Challenging Texts: Three Interventions to Enhance The Understanding of Social Studies Texts

Barbara L. Govendo & Gail Cahill


Teachers are expected to focus more attention on expository text and students are expected to read and understand an increasing amount of informational text as they move through the grades, as stated in the 2010 Common Core State Standards and individual state standards. This article links social studies standards to past and present research on the “best practices” of strategy learning, using active learning, and focuses on three main intervention areas to enhance the understanding of social studies and history texts: (a) text features and structures, (b) content enhancements, and (c) cognitive strategies. Classroom examples of and technology supports for the intervention areas are included.