Pre-reading strategies and pre-reading activities go hand in hand. In order for a reader to make sense of a text fairly early on especially on a motivating subject that speaks to the kids such as children's fashion or children's school uniforms, s / he needs to make use of pre-reading strategies which can help with some of the gray areas of the text. One topic that is quite stimulating for students to read is that of fashion. This can be especially stimulating once they have debated on the topic of uniforms. This is a good lead-in for text on dress-codes and fashion as will be described in the reading lesson plan below.
The Difference Between Pre-reading Strategies and Activities
Pre-reading strategies are those which help students build up their expectations and understandings about a text before they actually begin reading it. Prediction is one main type of strategy in this category. Confirming their responses is yet another one. These are important lead-ins for the student. For the student, pre-reading activities are what students actually do with the text. For the teacher, this is important part of the lesson planning in terms of what students know to and applying it to the main reading task.
The Pre-Reading Lesson: An Example of Applying Both Pre-Reading Strategies and Activities
Brainstorm the conventional concept of messages known to students including: SMS text, telephone, note messages. Bring up the concept of fashion to teach vocabulary and background knowledge about the subject. Have students discuss "What messages are your clothes sending today?" and brainstorm results.
The teacher could begin the lesson by asking the students what they think about before they choose what they are going to wear on any given day. The teacher could also ask more directly, what do clothes and fashion in general represent? The class can then think about the various connections that clothes have with other issues such as image, mood, and personality. The students will have in fact, activated appropriate schemata in order to approach the text in a "prepared" manner.
Pre-Reading Strategies: More on Predicting the Text
The reader should know what to predict in terms of the layout of the text and how the ideas relate to one another. A reader that activates his / her formal schemata towards this particular text, understands that there is an introduction to the passage, which will probably include a main topic sentence. They will be able to identify various examples in the text that support the main idea, and can even predict the conclusion of the passage.
Once a reader has made general conclusions about what he or she will find in the rest of the text, s / he will feel more confident to continue reading about the subject and other reading strategies that will be of use to the learner in the later stages of reading.