Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pre-Reading Text materials

Do you have your students pre-read history, science or other text materials? I often have a "pre-reading" activity for my seventh grade history students. I have to; too many of them arrive at seventh grade without have ever used a textbook! (thanks, open court!). Basically, I ask them a series of questions (usually on a worksheet or copied off the board to the one-third side of their student interactive notebooks). These questions are answered or statements completed (think: fill-in-the-blank) by students scanning and previewing the chapter or lesson's pictures, picture captions, charts, graphs, and other visual materials. They are not to read the paragraphs of the textbook or other text materials. Students may be asked to identify the sub-section titles and perhaps make an inference (prediction) as to the main idea/focus of that section. They list the important vocabulary terms and people (in my textbook, listed on the first page of each lesson) they need to know.

Example questions from Chapter 3, Lesson 1 of a 7th grade world history text:

1. "__________ ______ _________ ______________________ __________________________," is the title of Chapter 3, Lesson 1.

2. According to the map, "Trade Routes, AD 570," three important trade goods from
India are _________________, ______________________, and _____________________.

3. The three main ideas of Chapter 3 Lesson 1 are:

a. ____________________________ = __________________________________________________

b._____________________________ = __________________________________________________

c._____________________________ = ___________________________________________________

You get the idea. Later, we go over each question, with the textbook or other text source open. If I have a class with a high percent ELL's, students can work on this activity in pairs, and I may put the page numbers where the title, picture, map, etc is located. This helps some of my ELL's because they have a hard enough time dealing with the textbook with their second or third grade English language reading levels.

What do you do to help your students learn to read text materials ? Please share with us !