Reading Aloud Strategies: Prior Knowledge

Tonight, I would like sharing an article about another reading aloud strategies. It is Prior knowledge.
I was reading a book written by Mary Pope Osborne. It was the week after winter break, but the opportunity to read the newest book in a familiar series was too good to pass up. All but about two of my students had read a Magic Tree House book before this one.
The need to activate prior knowledge is often linked to some aspect of the story—understanding a certain kind of character, the place as well as the time period of the setting, or the topic of the story. Before we read on the first day, we had talked a little about Camelot, King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table. The avid readers of the series knew that Jack and Annie had performed some tasks for Morgan Le Fay, the librarian in Camelot.
I still remember what written was by marry in her book, Reconsidering Reading-Aloud, She said that:
“ The prior knowledge to activate for this book also included that of book structure—it has a prologue. We talked about what a prologue is (“like an introduction,” Youngghil explained) and how it functions. In this case, it gives the reader of a series book some basic information about what has happened in the previous books. But it was on the second day before reading that my generic question, “Does anyone want to say anything before I start reading?” resulted in full-blown activation of prior knowledge. I even used those words to describe to the students what they were doing. After my question, there were the usual negative mumblings from those who just wanted to get right to the book. But Shane had his hand up, so there would be some talk before reading on this day. He made a connection between the book and a cartoon show on TV that is a take-off on the Camelot story, with children as the knights. Other students had seen TV shows and movies that were directly or indirectly related to the Arthurian legend. Once Shane got them started, the connections were building and building, like the strands of a spider’s web, from student to student. Then we were more ready than ever to read. Before I started, I said, “What we were just doing was a really important and really smart thing that readers do before they read a book or before they read the next chapter in their book. Good readers think of all the connections they can make to the book. That’s called activating your prior knowledge. It’s like building a web inside your brain of everything you already know and all
the connections you can make to the book. When you activate your prior knowledge, you give the new information in the book a place to plug in. Human brains can learn new information only when there is a place to plug it in. If you can’t plug it in to what you already know, it just sort of slides out of your brain.” Not very scientific, but I hoped it was graphic enough so that my students would not view the time spent getting ready to read as wasted.”
It is clear that priorknowledge is very important. That’s all my writing. Thanks

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