linking literacy with integrated science and humanities | using inquiry through differentiation

تطوير مهارات اللّغة عبر دراسات العلوم والإنسانيّات المتكاملة | بواسطة التّقصّي عبر التّمايز
children in front of school tent

“Making A Difference Means Making It Different.”

International Reading Association

Real classrooms include children from a wide variety of cultural and language backgrounds, as well as a range of academic levels. Educators realise one size does not fit all; never has, does not, and never will; and no one book can ever truly meet the authentic needs of all students.

Alshams is an integrated programme linking literacy with science and humanities, providing educators an opportunity to teach through inquiry using differentiation.

Alshams sets provide educators differentiated resources to meet the diverse needs of their students. Each set includes 3 - 4 books carefully crafted to match the wide range of reading levels within each classroom. All books within the same set provide the same core concepts but within different contexts and at different reading levels. They all develop a common set of key concepts, enduring understandings, and core vocabulary. The goal is that all students acquire essential core content at their own reading levels.

For students who struggle with content-area textbooks, these sets provide core curriculum that is broken down, not watered down. For students who are reading at grade level, the sets provide literacy and core content curriculum with appropriate challenge and support. For students who need more challenging material, the sets provide literacy and core content in ways that develop students’ critical thinking skills.

Alshams humanities and science literacy sets offer materials which :

  • facilitate differentiated instruction,
  • provide content access for all students,
  • provide essential standards-based curriculum in science and social studies,
  • support the developmental needs of students at a variety of reading levels,
  • provide explicit instruction in vocabulary and comprehension strategies,
  • develop fluency,
  • offer comprehensive teaching materials that streamline teacher planning.

Developing Literacy Skills

This programme supports developing readers and writers by providing appropriate scaffolding and challenges that match the needs of a wide range of students.

key vocabulary cultureVocabulary

Within each set, essential content words are targeted as Key Vocabulary and explicitly taught to all students before reading. As students read, they encounter these words repeatedly within rich contexts and have opportunities to use the words in oral and written activities. In addition to the Key Vocabulary covered in all four books, specific book-level words are taught and used in small group and independent activities.


Each set targets one specific comprehension strategy so that students learn and apply that strategy as they read. These strategies include determining importance, making connections, visualising, asking questions, making inferences, and synthesising. Teachers’ resources provide step-by-step help for explicit instruction, modelling, guided and independent practice.

visual literacy organiserVisual Literacy

Understanding how to read diagrams, maps, graphs, charts, and other visual aids is critical to comprehending nonfiction. Each set provides explicit instruction and practice in one kind of visual aid so that students learn how to extract and interpret information that is presented visually.

genre illustrated articleText Structure and Genres

Each set focuses on one nonfiction writing genre form. The characteristics of one nonfiction genre/text structure are explicitly taught in the Genre Study. The genre is defined and explained to students along with ample examples. Students apply their understanding of that genre by writing a piece that uses that specific genre as an organisational pattern. Genres covered in this programme include biographies, how-to-books, compare and contrast articles, news report, reference sources and more.

genre illustrated articleResearch and Write

The Research and Write section provides students an opportunity to show what they have learned, and to practice and develop their own research and writing skills. Students research additional information on the topic covered in their book, and create their own work based on the nonfiction genre modelled throughout their book.