Strategy: BrainstormingJohns, J., VanLeirsburg, P., & Davis, S. (1994). Improving reading: A handbook of strategies. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.
Brainstorming can be used as an effective method to activate prior knowledge—what students already know about a topic. Brainstorming also helps set a purpose for reading that is more motivating than more traditional introductions. Not only does this strategy help students understand what they know about a topic, it also enables them to connect their prior knowledge to that of the rest of the group. Comprehension is much more difficult if prior knowledge is not activated before reading a passage.
The following example has been suggested by Tamara Jetton.
If teaching a mathematics lesson on finding the sine, cosine, and tangent of an angle, the teacher asks the students to brainstorm what they know about triangles.
Students are then assigned the appropriate reading. The class then discusses the list of ideas to determine which are factual and which are not.
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