Literacy 7-12

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Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Pre-reading Questioning

Pre-reading Questioning


When teachers ask questions or have students create questions before introducing a text, they activate student interest and help them assess what they already know about a given topic. This process can also help teachers understand any gaps in student Background Knowledge, particularly when using content-specific expository texts. When students ask and answer pre-reading questions, they draw connections to what they already know and understand the purpose for reading a text, ultimately leading to increased comprehension.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this sixth grade teacher reviews potential questions to ask before partner reading. By asking students to brainstorm some pre-reading questions, learners are better oriented and equipped to comprehend the chapter.

  • Spending even a short time on pre-reading activities that involve students in the themes, concepts, and Vocabulary of a text can stimulate their interest and relevant Background Knowledge. Teachers can have students complete pre-reading questionnaires to help preview the content of a text. Students can also generate their own questions about a text prior to reading. These types of introductions can provide valuable support and guidance for students on where to focus their Attention when reading.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Incorporating pre-reading questions or activities promotes increased readiness to engage with a text by activating learners' Background Knowledge. Developers can use multimedia activities to support learners' exploration of new texts and allow them to make predictions and question texts.