This strategy will help students to:
personally connect and engage with what they are reading. Probable Passages is a before reading activity that aims to ‘get knowledge ready’ for reading by familiarising students with some of the vocabulary they will encounter in the text. Students are given a number of words from the passage and are asked to make connections between the words and predict what information might be in the text.
- Students begin with 8-14 vocabulary words that the teacher has selected from the text. Some words might have obvious connections and others could be more difficult to group. Students will also need a blank ‘Probable Passages’ handout.
- In pairs or small groups students will categorise the words into boxes on the ‘Probable Passages’ handout.
- Using their own prior knowledge and as many of the vocab terms as possible the students create a gist statement predicting what they think the text will be about.
- The class then reads through the text and compare their gist statement with what was actually in the text.
- Once the class has finished reading and discussing the differences, students revise their gist statement to create a summary paragraph about what they have read.
After reading, the students can reflect by answering the following questions;
- How does making predictions help you to understand a text?
- How does writing affect your learning differently from speaking?
- How does thinking about categorizing help you to understand words?
- How does it help you to understand ideas?
- When else might you use this activity?