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Before Reading

Before Reading

Chunk the Text

Chunking the text means breaking up the text into smaller sections.  This is done by drawing a horizontal line between paragraphs into smaller sections.   Breaking the text up or “chunking” it makes the page much more manageable for students.  It is important to know that there isn’t any right or wrong way to chunk the text, as long as you can justify why you grouped certain paragraphs together.

Survey the Text/Thieves

This pre-reading strategy helps you “steal” information before you actually begin reading the chapter.

Vocabulary Journal


Vocabulary Journal 200

Teachers can use this Vocabulary Journal as a pre-reading strategy or during a close read in order to help their students better access academic and subject-specific vocabulary. Either the teacher can choose the key words to use in the journal or the students can choose words with which they struggle. These words should be written in Column 1 (Vocabulary Word). In the second column (What I think It Means), the students can make guesses about the definition. From here, teachers have two options: they can complete columns four and five and then go back to column 3, or they can have the students work in order from column one to column five.


If the first option is chosen, teachers can have their students skip the third column (The Real Definition) and just right to the fourth  column (Clues), where they can explain how they came to think that the guessed definition is the right one. What did they notice that help them understood the meaning? Students should jot down where they found the info in the article in the fifth column.

The second option is to have the students move from the second column directly to the third column where they can either look up in an outside resource or negotiate the correct definition with a partner. The students can then proceed to the fourth column, where they can draw a picture, or give themselves some written clue to help them remember the real definition. Finally, they can proceed to the fifth column, where they can record where they found this real definition (a dictionary,, context clues in the article, etc.).

For more vocabulary strategies see the Close Reading in Action Videos.