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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

EDC 760: Adolescent Literacy in the Disciplines

Text Sets

A text set is a collection of sources that support a common theme, issue or topic. Text sets should include a variety of genres, text types, levels and formats.

Examples of material include (but are not limited to):

  • fiction (novels, picture books, short stories)
  • non fiction
  • poetry
  • images
  • newspaper and magazine articles
  • webcasts and podcasts
  • websites
  • artwork
  • songs
  • primary sources (interviews, documents, artifacts)

Creating Text Sets

What steps are involved in putting together a text set?

  1. Start with the content - what do students need to know or in other words --  what do you need to teach?
  2. Build the text set  - find material that supports the content you want to teach and want students to learn.
  3. Organize the texts - how and when will you use the texts?
  4. Creating and responding to texts - how will students work with the texts, what will they do with the texts?

A few essential questions to ask and/or issues to consider when assembling a text set.

  1. Think about the standards. What are students expected to know and be able to do? This can dictate the topics/themes chosen.
  2. What do you (the teacher) want students to know (beyond the standards)?
  3. What topics/themes/content will engage and excite students?

Browse websites to get text set ideas:



Library of Congress

Education Resource Area LibGuide

Example #1

Anchor/Central Text 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis


Start with the Content / Inquiry Question

What role did young people play in the Civil Rights Movement?


Build the Text Set / Books, Articles, Photos, Videos

Picture books/Graphic Novels, Documentary about the Children’s March, Biography of Rosa Parks, Timeline of events from, Photos of Civil Rights Movement


Creating and Responding to Texts / Performance Task

Do you think young people who organized and marched in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Children’s March in Birmingham in 1963, made the right decision? Explain your answer, using information from your supporting text collection.

Example #2


Do kids really need homework?



The Pros and Cons of Homework



Why do we have homework?  Which schools are banning homework?


Artistic Prompt / Political Cartoon

GoComics, Newsweek, USA News



Ways to get involved, Current/Past Campaigns, What can you do


Additional Resources

News resources/videos, Ted Talks

Where to look for books and text sets

Start browsing through these websites that were mentioned on this page to get ideas:



Library of Congress

Education Resource Area LibGuide

Also, take a look at Novelist Plus (NoveList Plus is an online readers’ advisory resource with over 200,000 fiction and readable nonfiction and audiobook titles, for children, teens and adults) and Scholastic Bookflix (Fiction/nonfiction pairs in BookFlix are categorized according to nine themes: Animals and Nature; Earth and Sky; Family and Community; People and Places; Music and Rhyme; ABC's and 1, 2, 3's; Adventure; Imagination; and Celebrations).

Once you have some book titles in mind, click on Books, Ebooks, Streaming Videos to search the Salem State Library Catalog for print books and ebooks.  Within the Books, Ebooks, Streaming Videos page, you'll also see a list of Ebook Resources for Elementary and Secondary Education as well as a General Collection of Ebooks.  If you are searching for articles, check out Articles & Databases for library databases such as Biography, Academic Search Premier, Literature Resource Center