School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 2. Use strategies to prepare for reading (before reading)

Objective a. Select and apply appropriate strategies to prepare for reading the text


Prior to this activity, the teacher should select an age-appropriate text to share with students. Next, the teacher should read the text and create an accurate prediction about the purpose or content of the text. Then the teacher should share the text and the prediction with students. Following this, both the teacher and students should preview the text and discuss any text features, purpose setting, or prior knowledge that would lead a reader to make that prediction about the text. Discussion should focus on the direct relationship between elements in the text features, purpose setting, and prior knowledge and the teacher’s stated prediction.


The teacher should place students in groups of 3-5 and present each group with a folder that contains 3-4 texts. The texts should be a mix of literary and informational. To begin the activity the teacher and students should review and discuss before- reading strategies. During this process, the strategies should be recorded on the board or overhead so that the strategies are visible to the students. Next, the teacher should instruct students to preview the texts and determine which before- reading strategies will be most useful to access the text. Once groups have completed the task, the teacher and students should discuss the differences among the texts and how these differences guide which strategies will be most beneficial.


The teacher should present a text to the class, making certain that each student has a copy. In a deliberate pattern, the teacher and students should apply all before- reading strategies to the text. Once all have been applied, students should be instructed to read the text in preparation for a discussion that will address the varying benefits of each before- reading strategy. After reading is complete, the discussion should focus on which strategies were more appropriate for the given text.


The teacher and students should engage in a discussion of standard before- reading strategies and focus on the benefits of each particular strategy. Students should be encouraged to share which strategies they individually find most helpful in approaching a text. To extend the discussion, students can share little techniques they have individually developed that are apart from the standard strategies and why these individuals find them helpful.