New Nonfiction Program "XBOOKs," Designed Specifically to Meet the Common Core State Standards, Now Available from Scholastic

Alex Wladich, Scholastic Inc.


XBOOKS™ interactive program uses informational texts to teach close reading,
academic vocabulary and research skills


New York, NY — September 18, 2012 — As students head back to school, districts are looking for classroom resources to help teachers fill key instructional gaps to meet the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards. These standards call for a greater emphasis on informational text, the need to expose all students to complex, grade-level text and a focus on students answering evidence-based questions, citing what they read.

XBOOKS™, a nonfiction language arts program for middle schools, provides a collection of compelling informational texts in print and digital formats, (including online Spanish translations) steeped in critical need-to-know science and social studies content. Digitally-enhanced instructional tools are specifically designed to meet the new standards and help all students graduate college-and-career-ready.

Developed by master teachers Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm and Laura Robb with experts at Scholastic,the global children’s publishing, education and media company, XBOOKS presents science and social studies content and uses multimedia features like video, pop-up vocabulary, interactive maps, charts, graphs, games, and online classroom chat blogs to deepen students interactions and learning. XBOOKS also includes “Stretch Texts” that build on the information in the books, stretch students’ comprehension, and expose them to a variety of text types and additional academic vocabulary at higher levels of text complexity.

The XBOOKS program is organized into five high-interest topical strands of increasing text complexity - Strange, Medical, Forensics, Tyrants, and Total War— each based on science or history content. These rich topics keep students motivated as they follow experts who uncover ancient secrets buried in deserts and swamps, investigate medical mysteries, and use forensic science to solve crimes. Each content strand comes with supports to help teachers manage close reading of text and ask evidence-based questions.

"Educators and school leaders are telling us they need materials that support the key shifts in the Common Core standards – things like more informational texts and help incorporating close reading activities and grade level material in classrooms with students who have vastly different skill levels," said Patrick Daley, SVP and Publisher for the Scholastic Classroom and Community Group. "XBOOKS not only supports students by giving them highly engaging material and books that motivate them to learn, but also supports schools and teachers who need materials to help students meet college and career standards."

The XBOOKS website also offers students a place to receive teacher feedback during lessons and reading along with reporting tools to help teachers monitor and assess student progress and easily modify instruction to meet each student’s changing needs.