PreReading & Core Reading Strategies
As a reader, there are several things you need to do BEFORE you begin the actual reading of a passage. These are known as “pre-reading” strategies. The purpose of these strategies is to get you ready for reading the passage. It helps to get your mind set and prepared for what is to come. You are receiving information about the topic, which will be helpful in your understanding of the passage. It also gets you to tap into your background knowledge of the topic, if there is any. It is setting you up for thinking and becoming actively engaged in the text.
BEFORE YOU READ A PASSAGE
- Read the Title
- Look at the pictures
- Read the captions or subheadings
- Read any footnotes or word boxes
- Read the comprehension question(s)
WHEN ANSWERING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- The title can help you
- Pictures can help you
- Captions and Subheadings can help you
- Cross out any silly answers (usually two out of four can be eliminated right away). (This is if you are working on multiple choice questions.)
- Go back to the passage and underline where you found the answer
BASIC READING STRATEGIES
The BASIC Reading Strategies that should be stressed when a child reads are as follows:
- Make Pictures in your mind to help you understand what is happening in the story.
- Ask yourself Questionslike: Who are the characters in the story? What are the characters doing in the story? Where does the story take place? When does the story take place? Why does the character do whatever it is he/she is doing? How does your character solve the problem in the story? Keep asking yourself different questions to reinforce and recall what you are reading.
- Make Predictions about what will happen next in the story.
- Make connections to the characters or situations in the story.
- Think about the illustrations if there are any.
- Stop to recap the story before going on to the next chapter or section.
- Reread the confusing parts over to make sure you understand what is happening.
CORE READING STRATEGIES
As a parent, you want to help your child the best way that you can. These pages will review the thirteen reading strategies that are the core reading tools that students need in order to make sense of what they are reading. These will include a definition of the skill, along with some practical “how-to” tips to help you, help your child. Also included are examples, activity sheets for practice, and websites to assist you in working with these strategies.
Many students have shown difficulties with certain skills that are crucial to their reading comprehension. Specifically, Identifying the Main Idea and the Supporting Details of a passage and making a connection between them. The other skills of Understanding Sequence, Recognizing Cause and Effect, Comparing and Contrasting, Making Predictions, Drawing Conclusions and Making Inferences, Distinguishing between Fact and Opinion, Identifying Author’s Purpose, and Distinguishing Real from Make-Believe, may also be difficult for some students to master because the thinking processes involved in applying the strategies are very abstract. These are considered the critical reading and thinking skills. The strategies of Using Context Clues, Interpreting Figurative Language and Summarizing are needed because children have difficulty with the different styles of language. Obviously, the more a child reads and encounters words in context, the more familiar that word will become. A child’s inability to interpret the author’s meaning when encountering figurative language and imagery will put the child at a disadvantage to understand and appreciate the richness of language. Summarizing is a powerful reading strategy because it makes the student think about, recall important information and express it in a clear, concise manner. The following are some strategies that will help students in learning and applying the skills that students will encounter both in and out of the classroom.