In books such as I Read It, But I Don’t Get It, Cris Tovani lists reading behaviours of successful or proficient readers.
These behaviours are:
- Activating background knowledge
- Self-questioning the text while reading.
- Drawing inferences.
- Determining importance
- Employing Fix-Up Strategies when meaning breaks down.
- Using sensory images to visualize
- Synthesizing and extending meaning
Here, I will begin at the beginning. I have often, if not always employed, deliberately asking students to brainstorm any preconceptions they have about a text before we begin. To put a shape to that pre-text brainstorming, I have used an Advance Organizer, brainstorming on a word web as a class, or a Value Line.
For this activity, I decided to use a K-W-L chart, with the “K” meaning that students write everything they already know — or think they know — about a topic or text.
Here are my K preconceptions:
- Gothic text (but what that means exactly I confess to not knowing)
- Considered one of the greatest texts ever written
- Considered one of the greatest love stories ever written
- Turn of the century time period
- Overly flowery language.
- Unnecessarily long descriptions.