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Learning Strategies: Pre-Reading Techniques

Learning Strategies: Pre-Reading Techniques

Author: Rebecca Oberg

This learning packet will provide information for a few key learning strategies related to pre-reading:

-KWL (and the closely related KWHL) Charts
-SQ3R Method
-Cornell Notes

Through example charts, helpful descriptions, informative slide show presentations, and engaging audiovisual clips, this packet offers insight into pre-reading strategies that will boost your reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is an area of learning that is often tested on those standardized tests that are a staple in today's education system. This packet will give you the inside track to performing on these tests and building a path toward making the most out of what you read, both inside and outside of school. Good luck and keep reading!

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What is a KWL or KWHL chart?


KWL Chart: Create a KWL chart by folding a sheet of paper as if you are sending a letter. Write everything you know about the topic you are reading about (under the K column) and everything you want to know (under the W column). Leave the third column (the L column) blank to come back to after you read, to document what you have learned for what they learned.

KWHL Chart: Similar to the KWL Chart with an added column labeled “How I will find out…” Write everything you know about the topic you are studying under the K column, everything you want to know under the W column, and strategies for how you will find the answers to your W questions under the H column. Leave the third column (the L column) blank to come back to afterward to write what you learned.  

Source: Rebecca Oberg

Seeing the KWL Chart in Action

This short video clip gives learners the basics on how to think about the KWL chart, and gives a look into how to "talk out" the process with another learner.

Source: YouTube

KWL Chart: One Example

Using Wordle as a Mapping Tool for Pre-Reading

This helpful video clip gives viewers information about a very helpful and innovative tool for pre-reading: Wordle! I have used this tool in my classroom for the past few years. It is a great way to begin thinking about a text--copy and paste a document you need to read into Wordle ( before reading, then simply watch as the "word cloud" generator gives you a visual representation about important, frequently occurring words and phrases in the text. This is helpful to visual learners, and gives students an engaging starting point for accessing a challenging text, offering them important words to look for while reading.

Source: YouTube

SQ3R and Cornell Notes: Looking Deeper at Methods of Pre-Reading

This informative slide show offers insights into the SQ3R method and Cornell Notes. Both are useful in the pre-reading process and can be extended into the during- and post-reading processes as well. These are two particularly useful methods for my students.

Source: See slide show presentation for citation.