Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Multiple Texts

Multiple Texts


Providing multiple texts on the same topic or theme allows students to interact with multiple perspectives and develop their critical thinking skills. Students have the opportunity to question, analyze, compare, connect, and evaluate what is said and by whom, building their Critical Literacy skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this eleventh grade history teacher uses images, maps, books, and speeches to encourage questioning and Inferencing from multiple sources. As her students observe and analyze these diverse forms of media, they see and connect these elements in the context of the overall Civil War, supporting their Disciplinary Literacy skills.

  • Teachers can use and layer multiple texts, including primary sources, lyrics, film, and visuals, to create a comprehensive look at an event, stimulate thought-provoking discussions, and give students multiple entry points into a lesson. They can also provide prompts or have students generate questions like "Who benefits from the text?" or "Whose views are excluded or privileged in the text?" to deepen and challenge their thinking. When students interact with multiple texts, they can form connections within and between texts, developing their Inferencing skills. Multiple texts can be used to evaluate the trustworthiness of sources, especially for news, and for uncovering the authors' values, biases, and assumptions.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how CommonLit offers paired texts to encourage connections across texts. Students can explore similar themes and use the provided prompts and questions to deepen their analyses.

  • Developers can offer text sets that layer these texts in meaningful or contrasting ways, allowing students to draw their own connections between texts, which builds their Inferencing skills. By organizing multiple texts, they can prompt students to consider the role of perspective, positioning, and power.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy