Getting to the Core of Literacy for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Grades 6–12


Vicky Giouroukakis & Maureen Connolly

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

    Part II: Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

  • Dedication

    This book is dedicated to my Greek parents—for all their sacrifices and for teaching me that with hard work and dedication all my dreams can come true; and to the memory of my grandmother (my namesake), an exceptional woman, who was orphaned and then later on widowed at a young age, who experienced hardship, war, and poverty in her lifetime—for teaching me, by example, to live life to the fullest and to be strong and independent.


    This book is dedicated to Dr. O. Paul Wielan who taught me about literacy at St. John's University and has continued to be my teacher long after my graduation. I am forever grateful for your presence in my life as a friend and mentor.



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    We wish to acknowledge Carol Chambers Collins, Lisa Luedeke, and the entire Corwin staff, Francesca Dutra Africano, Amy Schroller, and Linda Gray, for their belief in our vision for this book and for their continued support of this product from start to finish. We would also like to thank our colleagues at our respective institutions of education—Molloy College and Mineola High School—for their sustained encouragement of our work, especially the English Language Arts professionals with whom we have worked over the years who have inspired us. In addition, we wish to express our gratitude to the students (both high school students and prospective teachers) we have taught in the past and will teach in the future for motivating us to become better teachers. Finally, we would like to sincerely thank those who work tirelessly to ensure quality education for all students.

    A very special acknowledgment goes to our core families:

    Vicky's core family: husband, John—my saint, for your uncommon and unwavering love, patience, and encouragement (you make me a better person every day); Emanuel, Anna, and Paul—for showing me the true meaning of life and for your unconditional love and understanding; dad Polychronis and mom Constantina—for all the sacrifices you have made and still make for me and for fostering in me the values of family, education, and hard work; mom-in-law, Anna—for all your help and support; Steve, Elaine, Tina, Stephanie, Paul, and Peter; George, Margie, Tina, and Catherine—for your constant love. My coauthor, Maureen, who, in many ways, has become a part of my family—for being an exceptional friend and colleague with whom to work.

    Maureen's core family: mom, Elizabeth “Rose”—for always being eager to help; dad, John—for always being supportive of my education; Katie—for always being willing to listen; James—for always making me laugh; Rob—for always keeping me safe; Megan and Melissa—for always being eager to share a love of Pinkalicious reading and silly storytelling. Daniel Paul—for making me smile with your smile. My chosen family, my friends—for celebrating all of life's successes with me and supporting me through thick and thin. My writing “sister,” Vicky—for your enthusiasm, your patience, and your ability to keep us on track even in the midst of our chaotic lives; it is an honor and a pleasure to work with you. And, of course, for my husband, Andrew and stepson, Ben—for turning my world around and filling it with more love and joy than I could ever have imagined. BAM!

    About the Authors

    Vicky Giouroukakis, PhD (née Vasiliki Menexas), is an Associate Professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. She teaches graduate courses to prospective and practicing secondary English teachers and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. Prior to her tenure at Molloy, Vicky taught English at a public high school in Queens, New York, and ESL to adolescents and adults. She also taught at Manhattanville College and Queens College, CUNY. Her research interests include adolescent literacy, standards and assessment, teacher education, and cultural and linguistic diversity. Her work has been featured in books and scholarly journals, and she frequently presents at regional, national, and international conferences. In 2010, Vicky was the recipient of the Educator of Excellence Award by the New York State English Council. She has been interested in standards and assessment and how they affect teaching and learning ever since she began teaching. Moreover, her dissertation work was on the impact of state assessments in English on instructional practice. Vicky received a master's degree in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also earned a master's degree in TESOL and a doctorate in Reading/Writing/Literacy at the University of Pennsylvania. Vicky resides in New York with her supportive husband and three loving children. She can be reached by e-mail at

    Maureen Connolly, EdD, has been an English teacher at Mineola High School on Long Island, New York, and has worked as a professor of Education at Molloy College, Adelphi University, and Queens College. In addition, as a grant coordinator for the New York Metropolitan Area, she has developed many standards-based, service-learning experiences that link community outreach, character education, and reading. She has also collaborated on several publications related to service learning. While Maureen credits her passion for service to her mother, a music teacher who often coordinated trips for her pupils to perform at a local nursing home, she credits her love of literature and teaching to her grandmother, a professor of English at Hunter College, and her grandfather, a salesman for Macmillan. Maureen earned her master's degree in Reading and her doctorate in Educational Leadership at St. John's University. She has been awarded the title of Honoree for the ASCD Outstanding Young Educator of the Year and granted the St. John's University LEAD Award. Maureen has presented workshops at regional, national, and international conferences, and volunteered to teach in India, Ghana, Peru, and Spain. Maureen was recently part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program which promotes global education. She believes that at the core of her profession is the need to develop purposeful learning that opens students’ eyes to the potential for positive change in themselves and in their local, national, and global communities. Maureen resides in Princeton, New Jersey, and can be reached at

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    Appendix: Lesson Plan Template

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