Connecting Students’ Background Knowledge

background knowledgeWhen reading, all readers build comprehension by tapping into their background knowledge on a given subject or make mental pictures. The diverse students we teach bring a variety of life and learning experiences to the classroom every day. In this resource, you will find suggestions for showing students how to tap into and build upon their background knowledge to build and deepen their reading comprehension.

Middle School Matters Field Guide Alignment
Reading and Reading Interventions
Reading Principle 3: Activate and build appropriate background knowledge for understanding text content.

More Tools for Connecting Background Knowledge

Lesson Plans: CREATE

These content area lesson plans were created by the Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE Center). CREATE researchers developed curriculum to build the language and literacy skills of English learners in the middle grades while simultaneously instructing grade-level content concepts. Lesson plans and materials integrate instructional features of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP Model) including language objectives, explicit vocabulary instruction, student interaction, building background knowledge, and comprehensible input.

Anticipation-Reaction Reading Guide

This three-part anticipation-reaction reading guide video series is developed by the Texas Adolescent Literacy Academies (TALA)/ Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts. Teachers can use this series of classroom modeling to implement the before, during, and after reading strategies. This will enhance students’ understanding of the text in any content area. Proven by research, Science, Social Studies, History, and English Language Arts classrooms will benefit from this technique.