Teaching Strategies to Deal with a Poorly Designed Textbook

We’ve all been there: The school district or school administration saddles us with a clunker of a textbook that we must utilize. Maybe it’s poorly written, maybe it’s outdated, maybe its ancillary materials like quizzes or websites are sub-par.
Whatever the case, you’re stuck with it. Today on TeachHUB.com, frequent contributing writer Janelle Cox looks at some teaching strategies designed to help you through that terrible tome.
Janelle, who is a seasoned elementary school educator based in Upstate New York, includes the following helpful teaching strategies for overcoming bad textbooks:
  • Have Students Do a Walk-Through of the Textbook
  • Look for Additional Online Resources
  • Use the Textbook Only as a Resource
  • Develop Students’ Ability to Analyze and Critique the Book
  • And More!

Janelle sums up her article like this: “Poorly designed textbooks or ones that are out of date can be utilized as long as you think of them as just one of the many resources you are using to have students gain knowledge about a topic. With a little forethought and creativity, these “Awful” textbooks can actually provide a useful guide for learning.”
Have you ever had to use a poorly designed textbook? How did you use teaching strategies to make it work? Please share your thoughts in the comment section, we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
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