Reading in the Content Areas can difficult for all readers.
The best way I help my students with science and social studies reading is to use a pre-reading strategy I have used in my own classroom!
I use this first in science. With all the content vocabulary and information in one science reading even the best readers become overwhelmed!
Pre-reading Strategy Lesson:
1. Introduce the mnemonic below. Each Letter gives tips to increase comprehension of the text.
I need HELP in science! ( or social studies )
How does the page look?
Learn New Words
2. How does the page look? Discuss with the students if there are highlighted words on the page. Are there diagrams? Is there a lot of text or is it broken up in sections with subtitles?
3. Examine Titles: This is where you begin to activate prior knowledge. Read the titles aloud together and discuss with students if they already know of any information about the topic.
4. Learn New Words: Some books have a space for the new glossary words. Other highligh or boldface the words. Talk about the new words. Read the definition from the glossary. Have students partner read definitions.
5. Picture Clues: Complete a picture walk through the section you are to read. (Teachers do this all the time when reading storybooks, so why not try it in science and social studies?) Discuss the pictures to activate prior knowledge.
6. Now you are ready to read!
*** FYI: This pre-reading lesson may take you the whole class period depending on the age level you teach. I have done this as my first science lesson of the year! Then, the next day we read the first section!