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7th Grade Language Arts / Lesson 1: Reading Skills: Preview And Activate Prior Knowledge

Reading Skills Preview & Activate Prior Knowledge
What Will I Learn Today?

  • Today you will begin a review of reading skills that will make reading the following literature units easier for you and help your comprehension of events and ideas presented.

  • In this lesson we will discuss :
    1. Previewing
    2. Using prior knowledge (things you already know and have experienced)


  • Previewing is a reading skill in which you briefly look over what you are about to read. There are several steps to previewing

  • Step 1 : Look at the title. What does it tell you? What does it mean?What does this title tell                you?
    "The Case of the Missing Necklace"
    1. A necklace is missing.
    2. The story is probably a mystery.


  • Step 2 : Look at the author. Have you read any stories by the same author?

                  Having read other stories by the same author can help you make educated guesses  about :
                  1. Writing style.
                  2. Characters.
                  3. Plot


  • Step 3 : Look at any illustrations or photographs.
                  1. Pictures can give you clues about the story.
                  2. They may also make you think of questions. Try to find the answers as you read.


  • Step 4 : Read the introduction or opening paragraph.

    1. The first paragraph usually does these things :

                  1. Tells you where and when the story takes place
                  2. Introduces one or more character
                  3. May introduce the problem or conflict of the story

    2. At this point, you are able to begin to ask Who? What? When? Where? & Why? about the story.

    3. Looking for answers to these questions keeps you interested in the story and helps you understand it.

Activate Prior Knowledge

  • You activate prior knowledge when you use knowledge and experiences you have had to understand and predict what will happen in a story.

  • Activate Prior Knowledge by asking these questions :

    1. Does the title give me any clues to the subject of this story?
    2. What is the subject of this story?
    3. What do I already know about this subject?
    4. Have I read about this subject before? What did I learn?

  • Do you understand how to Preview material before you read it?
  • Do you know what questions to ask to help Activate Prior Knowledge?
        If so continue with the lesson!