Brainstorming: In these sessions, teachers ask students to examine together the title of the selection they are about to read. The teacher lists on the board all the information that comes to mind as students read the title. These pieces of information are then used to further recall, and in the process considerable knowledge will be activated.
Web sites to visit:
Brainstorming ProjectSteps in the Brainstorming ProcedureBrainstorming WebBrainstorm Graphic Organizers
Class Discussions: Class discussions and informal talks in and out of class all serve as techniques to discover more about what students bring to their reading. Over a period of time, teachers can begin to get some idea as to what their students know and can adjust how much time needs to be spent on background information.
Semantic Mapping: Students still use brainstorming strategies in semantic mapping; however this strategy is organized and controlled by the teacher. As
students offer their personal ideas about a topic, the teacher writes these ideas on the board. In brainstorming, all ideas are written on the board. In semantic mapping, ideas are organized on the board underheadings. The diagram represents the information elicited from the students but created in such a way that qualities and relationships are evident. During active reading, students may also use semantic maps. As they read, they include new information on their maps. During postreading, students can use their maps as a review of information
Prequestions: Whenever teachers or students decided on questions to be answered by reading, they are activating prior knowledge. These questions tend to focus attention and provide for purposeful reading. Teachers can accomplish this by preparing questions in advance of reading. This will help in guiding students as they complete their reading assignment. The teacher can also help students develop their own questions which will help them establish purpose and focus attention.
Visual Aids: Pictures and other visual material can activate a students’ prior knowledge. If a student has some schema for fossils, a simple picture may serve to retrieve appropriate knowledge. Thus a teacher may share this photograph of a fossil before students read a science textbook chapter on fossils. The picture serves to activate the students’ schemata on fossils.
Advance Organizers: Advance organizers are specific types of cognitive organizers. They are a means of helping students relate the new reading material to something they already know. If material can be related to the learners background and experiences, it can be meaningful. Whense these organizers are skillfully prepared, these help to activate knowledge students possess while at the same time helping them to see it in relation to the material they are about to read. Many textbooks provide well-written advance organizers within their books to guide students. If these are not available, teachers may create their own. Several ideas of uses of graphic organizers have been included within the various strategy sections.