You might want to consider updating your browser.
This site looks better and operates more smoothly on newer browsers that support current standards.

The Textmapping Project
A resource for teachers improving reading comprehension skills instruction

Remediate the Text!
An argument for using scrolls to teach LD students

Many learning disabled readers are poor comprehenders. In part, this is because they are not strategic readers: They have not (often despite considerable effort) learned how to structure their reading, they have not learned how to self-monitor, and they have not learned how to engage in pre-reading or post-reading. When they read, they commonly lack both a purpose and a plan.

In current practice, remediation for these problems focuses mostly on the reader. This is a good start, but it doesn't go far enough: reading is a dialog between reader and text. If we focus only on the reader, we are missing at least 50% of the problem - and arguably 90% of the solution. For while we have limited influence over the reader ( i.e., we can help LD readers compensate for their disabilities, but we can not change their disabilities), we have total control over the text. The obvious conclusion is that, in addition to remediating the reader, we should be remediating text.

How should text be remediated? For LD readers, any kind of paged media - such as books, magazines, and web pages - is a problem. This is because paged media requires strength in a narrow, specialized set of abilities - most notably, auditory processing and memory. It is not surprising that these are among the most common areas of disability for LD readers. LD readers, meanwhile, are most often strong in the areas of visual, spatial, tactile, kinaesthetic, and global abilities. None of these abilities are more than minimally useful for reading paged media. Paged media rewards seqential, verbal, reflective learning. LD readers are more likely to be global, visual, spatial, active learners. In short, paged media is not a good fit for LD readers. Text remediation efforts should include a major focus on alternatives to paged media.

Photograph: Teacher walking along, partially bent over, with a marker in hand, looking down at a scroll that she has unrolled on the classroom floor.One solution available to classroom teachers is to use scrolls (If you have a photocopier and a roll of tape, you can make your own scrolls. For more on this, see the links at the end of this article.) Scrolls are an ancient technology, but they offer some clear advantages over books, including this one: Scrolls are more accessible than books to a greater range of senses and learning abilities - including visual, spatial, tactile, and kinaesthetic learning abilities. Scrolls reward global, visual, spatial, active learners.

Scrolls are easy to make; the expense in photocopies is minimal. They can be used in the classroom to clarify and reinforce instruction in both reading comprehension skills and course content. They can be used to support a wide variety of instructional techniques (for example, Think Aloud, Metacognitive/Questioning, Reciprocal Teaching, and the like) and key instructional components (for example, explicit description, modeling, collaboration, guided practice, and independent use). Most important, they offer a very good fit for global learners.

Scrolls are an easy way to remediate text, and should be included in the reading-instruction toolkit of all remedial reading programs.

For more information about using scrolls for LD readers, visit the following pages on the web:

First-time tips:|
Introduction to scrolls:|
Using scrolls:|
Making your own scrolls:|
Introduction to mapping:|
Instructional benefits of Textmapping:|
Working with LD Students (from the Standard Instruction Set: Textbook Skills):

This article has appeared in the following publications:

  1. Disabled Readers Group Newsletter, Vol.6, No.1, Fall 2003, published by the Disabled Reader Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association
  2. Wyoming Journal of Literacy, Vol.2, No.1, Spring 2004, published by the Wyoming State Reading Council, a state council of the International Reading Association
  3. Reading Matters, May 2004, newsletter of the Virginia Beach Reading Council

The author encourages publication of this article. Please see the small print below.

Did you find this information useful?

Down arrow used as visual cue to call attention to the text that follows. small print Down arrow used as visual cue to call attention to the text that follows.

Unless otherwise noted, the content on this web page is © 2003-2007 R. David Middlebrook, and may be freely used for non-commercial purposes under the terms of the CCPL.spacer between topicsUse of the information on this web page constitutes acceptance of the terms of the CCPL and agreement to adhere to the Guidelines for Using Our Content. For more information, see our copyright page.spacer between topicsWe hope that you share our concerns about plagiarism []. Please provide proper attribution.spacer between topics. Please support this site.

Read our Privacy Policy.spacer between topics"The Textmapping Workshops" are a service mark of The Textmapping Project.spacer between topicsThe Textmapping Project is a member of the Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) Consortium.spacer between topicsFree JavaScripts provided by The JavaScript Source.

Questions? Comments?: .

Please help us improve the accessibility of this site.

| Is this valid HTML 4.01?  Find out! | Is the style sheet valid CSS?  Find out! | Read the Level Triple-A accessibility guidelines. | Does this page qualify for the Level Triple-A accessibility rating?  Find out! | Read about the Any Browser campaign. | Creative Commons alternatives to standard copyright |

Why are these logos important?

Copyright © 2003-2007 R. David Middlebrook
Terms of Use:

On the pages that follow, you will find extra copies of the images that appear in the above article. We are providing this for you because sometimes the images that you see on your screen do not print correctly. On the pages which follow, the images will print one per page. This ensures that none of them will get "crowded-out" when your browser prepares the pages for printing.

If you don't care about the images, don't want to print this message again, or just want to save paper, you can use the "Print Preview" command to determine which pages you want, and just print those. Most browsers have the "Print Preview" command in the "File" menu, in the upper left corner of your screen.

Photograph: Teacher walking along, partially bent over, with a marker in hand, looking down at a scroll that she has unrolled on the classroom floor.

Copyright © 2003-2007 R. David Middlebrook
Terms of Use: