Authentic Literacy Activities for Developing Comprehension and Writing

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Sheryl Jones

Reading Accountability Assignment 1

Duke, N., & Purcell-Gates, V., & Hall, L., & Tower, C., (2007). Authentic literacy activities for developing comprehension and writing. Reading Teacher. 60(4) 344-355.


This article discusses the use of authentic literacy activities for developing comprehension and writing. Duke & Gates define authentic literacy activities in the classroom as those that replicate or reflect reading and writing activities that occur in the lives of people outside of a learning-to-read-and write context and purpose (346). The article describes a two-year study that involved 26-second grade and third grade teachers and their students from school districts serving families of low and middle socioeconomic status. The purpose of the study was to develop students’ ability to understand and write informational and procedural text. The study found that teachers who included authentic literacy activities more of the time had students who showed higher growth in both comprehension and writing.


This article provides teachers with evidence from research that states that more authentic literacy activities are related to greater growth in the ability to read and write new genres. The article offers an operational definition of authentic literacy that helps teachers create authentic literacy activities across the curriculum. Also provided are ideas and strategies collected from teachers for teachers to bring authentic reading and writing into the classroom. To assist teachers in creating authentic learning opportunities for students there is an authenticity rating sheet provided that uses a 3-point scale to rate the degree to which the reason of an informational text being written or read in the classroom reflect the actual purpose of an informational text. One of the greatest contributions is the various easy to do lessons provided for authentic reading and writing created to implement authentic...
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