The Common Core Curriculum Standards aim educators toward rigorous or deep learning. One reading anchor standard of special relevance for teacher librarians comes under the heading Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. The anchor standard calls for students at all grade levels to “Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.” This anchor standard invites the teacher librarian to collaborate with teachers in developing and teaching sets of texts for students to read and compare. This is an opportunity for teacher librarians to apply their expertise and knowledge of literature—fiction and informational, print and digital.
Students in the School Library Studies course Library Resources for Children (SLS 5132) create text sets around science and social studies concepts in the Iowa Core Curriculum. These text sets can be taught collaboratively with classroom teachers, can be given to teachers for their classroom instruction, or can be taught in the library as part of the library curriculum. An example of a conceptual text set is:
Iowa Common Core Social Studies:
Understand reasons groups of people moved into and within the United States long ago and today.
- Coolies by Yin
- Good-Bye 382 Shin Dang Dong by Frances Park
- Drita: My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard
- How many days to America by Eve Bunting
- Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
Read more about text sets in Donham, J. (2013). Text sets, deep learning, and the Common Core. School Library Monthly 29(6), 5-7.