Previewing Skills & Activities

Previewing Skills & Activities

One strategy to teach at home is to have your child learn previewing skills.  Pick a book on a topic that you believe they do not have any prior knowledge.  Have your child then preview the book.  They should look at the cover, title, author, title page, and then skim through the pages of the book.  When they are skimming the pages of the book, they can look for bold words, pictures, and frequently repeated words.  If there are words they don’t know, you can even take the time to look them up online using a children’s dictionary or encyclopedia website to help build that background knowledge.

Then ask your child after previewing the book to predict what the book will be about.  Do not discourage your child by telling them that they are “wrong”, however as you go back and read the book together, you can refine the predictions by asking questions every few paragraphs or pages (depending on the length of the book).

Be sure to implement this skill at home while reading both fiction and non-fiction texts.  You may find that your child may struggle with this skill with non-fiction text more than  a fiction text.  Here is a great list of books that are suggested to practice activating prior knowledge.

Activating Prior Knowledge Series

Photo by GlobalPartnership for Education

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