In today’s information-driven society, reading is one of the most essential skills a student can have. The ability to read helps students retain and relay knowledge and gives them a broader, more informed perspective of the world. From a scientific stance, reading has the power to increase cognitive abilities like memory and focus, leading to better performance in other areas of study. 

Teaching students to become strong readers is equally important, but not without challenges. Below, find out which Prestwick House programs can help solve some common issues that may appear while developing your middle and high school students’ critical reading skills.

It’s hard to find grade-appropriate nonfiction passages that meet our school’s informational text requirements.

Look no further than Reading Informational Texts! This series adds challenging nonfiction passages to your curriculum and contains several selections drawn from multiple subject areas, including law, history, science, and politics. Every text includes a detailed justification of the passage’s selection, with notes on quantitative and qualitative measures of text difficulty, detailed annotations to clarify text meaning, and short-answer questions tied to the Common Core State Standards for reading informational texts.

My students aren’t performing their best on standardized reading comprehension tests.

Give them essential practice well before test day with the Preparation for State Reading Assessments series. Each book contains 35 grade-appropriate nonfiction reading selections with multiple-choice and open-ended comprehension questions directly modeled after those used on common standardized tests. If students are familiar with the test questions, they will be better prepared to demonstrate their abilities effectively and earn higher test scores.

My students need help analyzing short stories and poems.

Your students can gain the literary analysis skills they need to appreciate any work of fiction with Reading Literature. Each book in the series includes stories and poems annotated with important information, such as interpretations of difficult passages, explanations of unfamiliar allusions, definitions for tough vocabulary words, and more. After reading each story or poem, students practice literary analysis through multiple short-answer questions.

My students have difficulty recognizing an author’s purpose when reading.

Whether they’re trying to inform, persuade, or entertain, authors always have a purpose. Reading & Analyzing Nonfiction: Slant, Spin & Bias helps your students identify the conventions and devices authors use to achieve those goals. Annotated articles and frequent writing prompts throughout the book give your students practice applying the conventions they’ve been studying in their own writing.

My students don’t understand the nuance of author bias and how it can affect their own perception of a work.

Reading & Analyzing Nonfiction: Slant, Spin & Bias can help with that, too. In addition to author’s purpose, students will learn how to define and recognize logical fallacies, distinguish fact from interpretation and opinion, and avoid falling for flimsy arguments.

I want to improve my students’ overall media literacy.

Don’t let the name intimidate you; Techniques of Propaganda and Persuasion is designed to sharpen critical thinking and analysis skills, making your students more informed media consumers. Divided into two parts, this program first introduces eleven common propaganda techniques, then explores the various applications of propaganda. As they work through the program, students will learn to question the logic behind the messages they absorb every day in the form of news media, film and television, social media, advertisements, and even the literature they read in English class. 

What other reading problems are you trying to solve? Leave a comment below, or email us at We’re always happy to help you find resources for your teaching needs!