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Constructing Meaning: Teaching Language and Literacy K-8, 6th Edition

By Joyce Bainbridge, Rachel Heydon
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176580786
ISBN-13: 9780176580780
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 6th

Children develop their language abilities through meaningful interactions with people at storytime, at meal times, during chores, while searching for information, while playing, and while at school. In the classroom, teachers serve a crucial role in maximizing learners’ language and literacy acquisition. They serve as strong models, providing a stimulus for thinking and exploring ideas. They put multiliteracies in action. Constructing Meaning: Teaching the Language Arts K-8, Sixth Edition is founded on a commitment to helping educators expand learners’ communication and identify options through multiliteracies, curriculum and pedagogies. The text discusses and illustrates the various ways in which rapidly evolving communication technologies and learner demographics have radically changed literacy from even a generation ago. These are exciting times for language and literacy educators and learners, and this text offers many ways for pre- and in-service educators to capitalize on this excitement by helping to support learners’ literacy learning in all their teaching. Tailored for Canadian contexts and capitalizing on a strong Canadian research base complemented by international scholars, Constructing Meaning offers detailed understandings and illustrations of learners’ reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing practices, grade-appropriate book lists, illustrations of teaching/learning in action, and wisdom from practicing educators.


  • *NEW* In order to more closely align the text with the structure of most language and literacy courses taught in faculties of education, the sequence of some chapters has been reordered.
  • *NEW* The content of the text has been streamlined to emphasize what is most important in language and literacy education and to promote contemporary and enduring trends in the field.
  • The text approaches language and literacy from an integrated, social constructivist perspective, drawing heavily on multiliteracies theory, which highlights the multiple modes, media, discourses, and languages through which people communicate.
  • Each chapter is introduced with a graphic organizer that provides readers with an overview of topics and subtopics to be considered, along with presented scenarios of educator practice.
  • Included in many chapters are book lists, examples of teaching/learning activities, and samples of learners' reading, writing, visual representations, and oral language.
  • Each chapter is concluded with a summary and a short annotated list of professional resources for readers who wish to pursue an area further.
  • The Appendix contains publishing information for all the children's and young adult books mentioned in the chapters, along with additional titles, both fiction and nonfiction, that are recommended for learners at various grade levels.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Language and Literacy Teaching and Learning
  • Chapter 2: Planning for Language and Literacy Teaching
  • Chapter 3: Language Development and Oracy
  • Chapter 4: Early Literacy
  • Chapter 5: The Nature and Assessment of Reading
  • Chapter 6: Reading Instruction: Major Components
  • Chapter 7: Pedagogies to Foster Strategic Reading
  • Chapter 8: Literacy Across the Curriculum
  • Chapter 9: The Process of Writing
  • Chapter 10: Assessment and Conventions of Writing
  • Chapter 11: The Pleasures of Literacy
  • Chapter 12: Responding to Literature
  • Chapter 13: New Media

Author Information

Joyce Bainbridge

Joyce Bainbridge is the Associate Dean of Education and head of the Faculty of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta, which is the largest faculty of its kind in Canada. She received her M.Ed. and Ed.D. at the University of Northern Colorado. She is the recipient of many teaching and research awards, has been teaching courses in Language and Literacy from 1983 until her promotion to Associate Dean. She is the author of two textbooks and countless journal articles.

Rachel Heydon

Rachel Heydon is professor and program chair of curriculum studies and studies in applied linguistics, Faculty of Education, Western University. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Dr. Heydon coordinates the pre-service elementary language arts courses at Western and teaches literacy and curriculum theory courses at the graduate level. She is associate editor of the Journal of Curriculum Studies, co-editor of the journal Language and Literacy, a former president of the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada, and author of many publications about curriculum, early childhood, literacy, and teacher professional learning in literacy.