AL2. Pre-Reading Support

Course Progress


This module introduces educators to the importance of pre-reading activities and how they help support adolescent readers’ comprehension. These activities are designed to help further students’ comprehension of new text by helping them to explore their prior knowledge of the topic of the text, read for specific purposes, and preview a text to get a sense of its structure and content. You will examine how pre-reading activities can be used to motivate students and prime their interest and readiness for engaging with the text.

Time estimate: 3 hours

  • Pre-Reading Support
    • Pre-Assessment
    • 1. Why is Pre-Reading Important?
    • 2. Building Background Knowledge
    • 3. Setting Reading Intention and Purpose
    • 4. Identifying Text Structure and Organization
    • 5. Applying Pre-Reading Strategies
    • 6. Summing It Up
    • Post-Assessment
    • Module Evaluation
How to use this Module


Welcome to the Adolescent Literacy series in the Ohio Literacy Library! This is an ever-expanding series featuring modules designed to support educators and other interested stakeholders of adolescents who desire to support their acquisition of literacy in the upper primary, middle, and high school grades. Strong literacy skills are essential for adolescents, as they are required to: (1) read to learn in a variety of disciplines; (2) build their knowledge by working with different text types, acquiring academic vocabulary, and sharing their ideas and impressions with others; and (3) master reading comprehension to take full advantage of instruction in content-area classes (Kamil et al., 2008). These skills are essential for success not only in upper grades, but beyond in the workplace and postsecondary education as well. This series aims to support readers with evidence-based practices that provide adolescent learners engaging and relevant practice both inside and outside the classroom. 


Completion of The Simple View of Reading comprehensive learning module, or sufficient background knowledge of the Simple View of Reading.

Module Description

This module covers three ways that pre-reading activities can help support students’ text comprehension: by building background knowledge, setting reading intention and purpose, and identifying text structure and organization. In this module, teachers are given ways of engaging in all three pre-reading approaches and applying these to different content areas and age groups for adolescent learners. By selecting when and how students should engage in pre-reading activities, teachers can help improve students’ readiness and preparation to read and engage with the text.  

The module aligns with Recommendation #2: Provide direct and explicit comprehension strategy instruction and Recommendation #4: Increase student motivation and engagement in literacy learning in the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) Practice Guide – Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices. To this end, this module is designed to assist all educators, including English Language Arts and content-area teachers, in helping students gain more from their reading.

This module will: 

  • Increase your understanding of how to design different pre-reading activities to achieve different instructional purposes 
  • Help you gain insight into the characteristics of pre-reading activities that can help you respond to classroom challenges related to time, resources, content, and student interest 
  • Introduce ways to incorporate pre-reading activities across math, social studies, science, and language arts for middle and high school students 

Learning Objectives

Number 1

Identify the purpose and effective use of pre-reading strategies

Number 2

Describe pre-reading strategies that support students’ ability to build background knowledge

Number 3

Characterize pre-reading strategies that support students setting reading intentions and purposes

Number 4

Identify pre-reading strategies that support students’ ability to identify text structure and organization

Number 5

Gain insights into applying pre-reading strategies across varying content areas and texts

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All Ohio’s comprehensive learning modules are relevant to any educator working to support students’ literacy development. In each module, you will find in-depth narrative text, linked resources, realistic scenarios, reflection activities, and embedded audio and videos.

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Helpful Resources Related to this Module

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Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

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