Language Arts: Content and Teaching Strategies, 5th edition

3.5 avg rating
( 6 ratings by Goodreads )
9780130746894: Language Arts: Content and Teaching Strategies, 5th edition
View all copies of this ISBN edition:

Built on a solid research base, this exceptionally applied, accessible, and teacher-friendly text continues to provide balanced coverage of all six of the language arts, including extensive application as well as student artifacts. Features new to the fifth edition include: *New full-color inserts, emphasize the four prime instructional processes of language arts: literature focus units, literature circles, reading and writing workshops, and theme cycles *Piecing a Lesson Together expands lesson topics to include full minilessons and the opportunity for users to create their own lessons online *Weaving Assessment Into the Classroom features in each chapter take readers into real classrooms to witness the ongoing assessment necessary for masterful language arts teaching *A fully integrated Companion Website provides users with access to minilessons, research, meaningful activities, and an online journal *A free CD-ROM with footage of a Language Arts classroom gives users an intimate look at using instructional patterns in practice

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Gail E. Tompkins is a Professor at California State University, Fresno, in the Department of Literacy and Early Education, where shy teaches courses in reading, language arts, and writing for preservice teachers and students in the reading/language arts master's degree program. She directs the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project and works regularly with teachers, both by teaching model lessons in classrooms and by leading staff development programs. Recently Dr. Tompkins was inducted into the California Reading Association's Reading Hall of Fame in recognition of her publications and other accomplishments in the field of reading. She has also been awarded the prestigious Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching at California State University, Fresno.

Previously, Dr. Tompkins taught at Miami University in Ohio and at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where she received the prestigious Regents' Award for Superior Teaching. She was also an elementary teacher in Virginia for eight years.

Dr. Tompkins is the author of three other books published by Merrill/Prentice Hall: Teaching Writing: Balancing Process and Product, 3rd ed. (2000), 50 Literacy Strategies (1998), and Literacy for the 21st Century: A Balanced Approach, 2nd ed. (2001). She has written numerous articles related to reading and language arts that have appeared in The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, and other professional journals.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Helping students learn to communicate effectively is an ongoing challenge, especially given the cultural and linguistic diversity of today's classrooms and the swift changes in technological environments. It is the intent of this edition of Language Arts: Content and Teaching Strategies to be a useful resource to both preservice and inservice teachers as you accept and meet these contemporary challenges. For those of you who are preservice teachers, anxious to work with students from kindergarten through the eighth grade, you will find consistent models of instruction to help you make those mind-boggling decisions you may at first find overwhelming. For those of you who are experienced teachers, the text is infused with a rich array of strategies and ideas, adaptable to suit your personal instructional style and your students' individual needs. I hope you will find this text a valuable addition to your professional library.


The philosophy of this text reflects a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. I believe in this philosophy because it encourages you as a teacher to actively engage your students in personally meaningful, functional, and genuine activities. To support this philosophical perspective, I use this text to highlight four well-respected instructional approaches. These are:

  • Literature focus units—students read and study a high-quality children's book together as a class
  • Literature circles—students choose, read, and respond to a book in small groups
  • Reading and writing workshops—students work independently to read self-selected books and use the writing process to independently write books and other compositions
  • Theme cycles—students use an integrated approach to study a social studies or science topic

You are introduced to these approaches beginning in Chapter 2 with four colorful classroom profiles that illustrate how motivating and engaging each approach can be for students learning language arts. I then use the ensuing pages of the text to illustrate how to use these approaches to 1) establish a community of learners, 2) engage students in "real" children's literature, 3) teach children the skills and strategies that enable them to learn to communicate effectively, and 4) help you integrate assessment strategies that can guide your instruction.


Beginning with the previous edition, I initiated the use of a quilt design to carry the theme of the text. Many users recognized the underlying message embedded in this theme—effective language arts instruction weaves the teaching of communication skills into the whole curriculum and acknowledges that instructional strategies and practices must meet the needs of the diverse language and multicultural backgrounds of students. I try to convey this message in this fifth edition as well, illustrating it through familiar and new pedagogical features.


NEW! Patterns in Practice. This multi-pronged feature emphasizes the four instructional approaches upon which a meaningful language arts program is based.

  • Literature focus units, literature circles, reading and writing workshop, and theme cycles are fully discussed in Chapter 2.
  • Full-color inserts, one for each instructional approach, look in detail at classroom examples of the approaches in action.
  • Vignettes in Chapters 4 through 13 fill out understanding of these approaches in context.
  • Chapter 15 puts it all together, explaining how to develop units and set up instructional approaches in elementary and middle school classrooms.
  • Finally, an accompanying CD-ROM allows users to examine, re-examine, and manipulate genuine classroom footage to develop a deep and lasting understanding of these instructional approaches and the ways they are effectively carried out in classrooms.

NEW! Seeing Common Threads allows readers to look more closely at issues important to elementary and middle school teachers, giving them an opportunity to reflect on what they're learning through reflective questions provoking deeper thought and research. To encourage a dialogue on these issues, readers are encouraged to compare their thoughts with those of other preservice teachers online in our Companion Website's Threaded Message Board, available at

Piecing a Lesson Together builds on the last edition's Minilessons, showing how to teach skills and strategies with detailed descriptions. Information about how to teach minilessons is provided in Chapter 2, and lists of topics for minilessons are included throughout the text. For this edition I have expanded each set of lesson topics with one fully realized minilesson in each feature, and a second online in the accompanying module on the text's Companion Website.

NEW! Weaving Assessment into the Classroom takes readers into the class-room to witness the regular integration of assessment in masterful language arts teaching.

LA Essentials. Formerly called Teacher's Notebook, these practical, informative teaching tips are foundational tools all teachers will need with them in a language arts classroom.

Meeting the Needs of Every Student continues to provide ideas for adapting lessons to fit every student's needs. This special feature provides explicit suggestions for scaffolding and modifying the learning experiences for students with special learning needs so that they can be successful.

Extension Activities at the end of each chapter help readers apply information, and many invite them to observe and interact with students in elementary and middle school classrooms. Others ask them to prepare instructional materials, consult outside readings, or examine how they use language. I have included Web-related activities in each chapter.

New and Expanded Coverage

To address the newest research and to accommodate a constantly changing field, I have included or expanded coverage of the following content.

  • Guided Reading
  • Interactive Writing
  • Literature Circles
  • Multi-genre reports
  • Separate chapters (12, 13, and 14) on spelling, handwriting, and grammar


Companion Website

A truly text-integrated supplement at will provide users with more access to minilessons, research, meaningful activities, an online journal, self-assessments, meaningful links, chat areas and a threaded message board. For the professor, the Syllabus Manager™ allows online creation and management of course syllabi.


Containing classroom footage, this free supplement allows users to view, examine, and manipulate clips of language arts classroom teaching. Ideal for reflection and developing a deep, lasting understanding of text content.

Instructor's Manual

This useful tool provides additional support for instructors, including test questions and online integration.


Many people helped and encouraged me during the development of this text and during the revisions. My heartfelt thanks go to each of them. First, I thank my students at California State University, Fresno, who have taught me while I taught them. Their insightful questions challenged and broadened my thinking, end their willingness to experiment with the teaching strategies that I was developing furthered my own writing.

I want to express my appreciation to the teachers who invited me into their classrooms and shared their expertise with me. In particular I thank the teachers featured in the Patterns in Practice features: Judith Kenney, Jackson Elementary School, Selma, California; Laurie Goodman, Pioneer Middle School, Hanford, California; Laura McCleneghan, Tarpey Elementary School, Clovis, California; and Susan McCloskey and Pam Papaleo, Greenberg Elementary School, Fresno, California. I also want to acknowledge the teachers who are spotlighted in the Patterns in Practice vignettes in the chapters and other teachers who have influenced my teaching over the years: Eileen Boland, Kimberly Clark, Stephanie Collom, Pat Daniel, Roberta Dillon, Whitney Donnelly, Sandy Harris, Terry Kasner, Kristi McNeal, Carol Ochs, Judy Reeves, Jenny Reno, and Susan Zumwalt. Thanks, too, to the children whose writing samples and photographs appear in the book.

I also want to thank my colleagues who served as reviewers for this edition: Helen Abadiano, Central Connecticut State University; Lonnie R. McDonald, Henderson State University; Betty Goerss, Indiana University East; Gail Gerlach, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Scott Busley, Grand Canyon University; Marjorie S. Wynn, University of South Florida, Lakeland; Catherine Kurkjian, Central Connecticut State University; and Irene Cota, California State University, Northridge. I appreciate their thoughtful analyses and insights and I have worked to incorporate their suggestions into this edition.

Finally, I want to express my sincere appreciation to the people at Merrill in Columbus, Ohio. I want to thank Jeff Johnston, who was my first editor and started me on this odyssey; my current editor, Linda Montgomery, who helped me create a new vision for this edition; and my development editor, Hope Madden, who was my cheerleader, encouraging me every step of the way and spurring me toward impossible deadlines. Thanks, also, to the production team: Mary Irvin, my production editor, who moved this edition through the maze of production details so efficiently; Jenifer Cooke, who polished the text during copyediting; Valerie Schultz, who searched for the perfect photographs; and Carol Sykes, who dealt with the last-minute details. I value each of you.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780130610461: Language Arts: Content And Teaching Strategies [Fifth 5th Edition]

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0130610461 ISBN 13:  9780130610461
Publisher: Prentice Hall, 2002

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace


Gail E. Tompkins
Published by Prentice Hall (2001)
ISBN 10: 0130746894 ISBN 13: 9780130746894
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Prentice Hall, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0130746894

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 63.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds


Tompkins, Gail E.
Published by Prentice Hall (2001)
ISBN 10: 0130746894 ISBN 13: 9780130746894
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Prentice Hall, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0130746894

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 114.35
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds