Pre-reading activities are a great way to get your 3rd and 4th-grade students interested and excited about reading. If you find it challenging to capture their attention, don’t worry! By implementing pre-reading activities, you can engage your students and make reading a fun and interactive experience for them. Engaging your students in activities that build their background knowledge, activate prior knowledge, and generate interest, pre-reading activities can help set the stage for deep comprehension and engagement. In this blog post, I’ll share some practical and easy-to-implement pre-reading activities that you can use in your classroom to help your students become more invested and engaged in their reading. So let’s dive in and discover the power of pre-reading activities!
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Five Pre-Reading Activities
Prediction activities are a great way to get students excited about a new text and help them begin to think critically about what they will be reading.
- Have students examine the book cover and make predictions based on the images or design.
- Give students a short summary or blurb about the story and ask them to use that information to make predictions.
- Divide students into small groups and have them discuss and share their predictions with each other.
- Encourage students to use evidence from the text or cover to support their predictions and to explain their reasoning.
Pre-Reading Activities: Anticipation Guide
The anticipation guide is an excellent pre-reading activity that can help students build background knowledge and generate interest in the text. To create the anticipation guide, you can compile a list of statements that relate to the themes or topics explored in the text. These statements can be factual, opinion-based, or a mixture of both. Before reading, ask students to read through the statements and indicate whether they agree or disagree with each one. This can be done individually or in small groups.
- Have students share their reasoning for their original opinions and any changes they made
- Ask students to find evidence from the text to support their opinions and discuss the significance of these findings
Pre-Reading Activities: K-W-L Chart
The K-W-L chart is a simple yet effective pre-reading activity that can help students activate their prior knowledge and build curiosity about the text. To create the chart, draw three columns on the board or a chart paper labeled K (What we know), W (What we want to know), and L (What we learned).
Before reading, ask students to brainstorm what they know about the topic of the text and record their responses in the K column. This can be done as a class or in small groups.
Then, ask students to share what they want to learn about the topic and record these responses in the W column.
After reading, revisit the chart and ask students to share what they learned about the topic. Record their responses in the L column. This can lead to rich discussions about the text and help students to reflect on their own learning.
To make the activity more interactive, you can have students share their reasoning for their initial knowledge and their curiosity about the topic. Additionally, you can ask students to find evidence from the text to support their learning and discuss the significance of these findings.
Pre-Reading Activities: Visual Aids
Visual aids like pictures, videos, or props can be a powerful tool for engaging students in the pre-reading process in these ways:
- Help students visualize and make connections.
- Generate discussions and help students make predictions.
- Activate prior knowledge and build curiosity.
- Help students who struggle with reading comprehension.
- If you are reading about a farm, use pictures of different animals, farm tools, or a few ears of corn.
- If you are reading about a historical event, show a short video or series of pictures related to the time period.
- If a student struggles to visualize the setting of a story, show them a picture or photograph.
Pre-Reading Activities: Cover the Cover
Add some mystery to your pre-reading routine! Cover the cover of the book with brown paper. Draw a big question mark on the front. Let students ask questions about the text. This will create anticipation!
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The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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