This is from The Reading Workshop.  We had to write a comment about this post, so first comes the post, then my comment.

Prior Knowledge

Imagine picking up a book written in French.  How much would you understand?  How about the same book in English?  Even if there are parts you don’t understand, you could get the gist.  This is because you know enough of the words to help you comprehend.

What you know is a key to understanding as you read.  Using background knowledge, or your experiences, help make connections to the text, and then comprehension increases. Good readers constantly try to make sense out of what they read by seeing how it fits with what they already know.
As you are reading, think of connections from your experience to the text. This is the foundation, that will help you understand new facts, ideas, settings, and characters. As good readers read, they think about what they are reading and consider how it fits with what they already know.
New facts or information only makes sense when we connect it to what we already know. Using prior knowledge helps make sense of the text.

As you read today in Reading Workshop, consider what you already know that helps you understand your book.  What facts and information (prior knowledge) are you using to understand the text?

Here is my comment:

When I was reading Refugees today, I was thinking about some of my prior knowledge that helps me understand the setting, plot and character.

-I know about all the settings because I have good geography skills.
-The setting is in Manhattan, where it takes place during 9/11.
-The main character, Dawn, takes a plane ride over to Pakistan and I have ridden in a plane too.
-I know the big words that they put in the story, because I hear those kind or words on the news, from my parents, etc.
-I know what it feels like to suddenly be upset with your parents because of something the do.
-Dawn likes playing the flute and I know what the flute is because of my friends being in band.
-Dawn is a foster child and it helped me that I knew about how that stuff works.


One response »

  1. Mr. McGuire says:

    I feel lucky to have a students with so much prior knowledge! 🙂

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