Before, during and after Reading Strategies.

     The strategies below are used to guide students to actively participate before, during and after reading. The intent is that they will continue to use these strategies when they encounter more challenging texts. These  strategies are part of the Guided Reading philosophy and are an essential part of any literacy program.


What is Guided Reading?

     It is a context in which a teacher supports each readerís development of effective strategies for processing text at increasing levels of difficulty. (Fountas and Pinnell)

  1. The goal of Guided Reading is for students to become fluent readers who can problem solve strategically and read independently and silently.
  2. To view some videos of this.
  3. Use Inspiration templates for many before during and after graphic organizers.
  4. The sheets I use for Read Aloud Strategy, which I consider guided reading. This is a summary sheet for the term. I do five read aloud books/passages/poems and have the students complete these activities. For parent teacher I have a discussion about each student's progress.


Why use Before during and after reading strategies?


Before Reading


During Reading


After Reading
Pre-reading prepares students for learning by activating their prior knowledge about the topic featured in the text. During-reading strategies teach comprehension by making connections, generating questions, and determining importance by guiding the reader to use proficient reader strategies. After activities connect the old and new knowledge and help students frame it in some way to their lives.
  1. A good place to start to understand before, during and after strategy use.
  2. Before, during and after ideas.
  3. Handout for during activity while you read orally to the class.
  4. Great site for more activities

Before Reading

During Reading

After Reading


Quick Write:  Before any reading begins, invite students to Predict what the story is about by doing a quick write based on the title of the story or the pictures on the front and back covers. You can get them to write a statement in their scribblers or on a sticky note.

Word splash- choose eight to fifteen words from the story and the students write a sentence describing what they think the story will be about. (a prediction statement or GIST). Put the words on a transparency or on the board. (from Kyleen Beers Book When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do)

Probable Passage: Choose fifteen or less words from a story that depict the setting, characters, plot and climax, conflicts, solutions  etc.Students can write a OBG- our best guess statement and predict what the story will be about. (from Kyleen Beers Book When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do)

Voice from the Past- Write a diary entry having students consider what might have happened before that caused this character to feel they way they do about another character or about a topic. Students can write entries based on titles of stories or pictures.

Tea Party: This strategy encourages active participation. It allows students to predict what will happen in the text as they make inferences, see causal relationships, and practice sequencing. It was developed by Sue Perona. I have provided an example of this strategy- click on the words.(from Kyleen Beers Book When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do)

Trigger Letters: Teachers leave a letter lying around that will provoke discussion about the character's motivation. Usually this letter can be discusses from the viewpoint of the writer and/or the finder. What to do about the letter? What could happen if this letter got in the wrong hands? etc. These letters access prior knowledge and predict what the story could be about.

Anticipation guide sample


More excellent ideas


Webbing Charts: Follow the  levels of questions to get students thinking about what they read. Here they make the question up based on what they already know or want to know and then predict what will happen in the next chapter.

SWBS Strategy- This is a summary strategy. Students who tend to either write too little or too much use this to get to the key ideas. Teachers can see at a glance if the students understood what is happening in the story. Students have to really think who did what{characters}, and what they wanted {plot}, then examine why they weren't able to get it {problem/conflict} and finally draw conclusions {so} about the conflict to resolve it.

Radio Show: Start off demonstrating this strategy and then have the students become the talk show hosts. Essentially, you pose a problem that characters had in the story or novel. Students decide who should call in- they can be anyone in the world or anyone from the story who has an opinion about the topic. I have given my take on this- click the words above.

Inside Outside Circles: Students take roles of characters in the story and offer advice to the person having a problem in the story. The form a circle around the character and she goes from person to person to get advice. Those on the outside must decide who they'll be before they begin. The roles do not necessarily have to come from the book.

Cluster Word Web: What have you learned about the topic from reading. Organize it into sections and then fill in the web details. This is a form of note taking.

Hot Seat: Hot-seating is a way to go beyond the text and get to know the characters and what they experience, feel and think. One person sits in the seat as one of the characters. They must first write a monologue about what they think happened to them in the novel and why it happened. Then invite students to ask questions of the character. If other students in the audience who read the book have the answer and the hot-seat person doesn't they are allowed to go up and whisper the answer in their ear to help the hot-seat person out.  


Curious questions as I read handout

                                   More ideas


Reflection: Students make connections to what they are reading and their lives.

Choral Montage- This strategy can be used after key points in a text to explore different points of view about what has happened.

Ask an Expert: Students take on roles that address issues that have been raised, inquire into appropriate action, and propose what to do or how to deepen understanding of the issue. For example: The Depression: Students can interview someone who lived through this. Then a video was made  with each student taking a separate idea about depression and presenting it on the video. Other students go to ask these experts about depression. Each group takes a different topic. The key is they plan out each section and make suggestions as to what to do.

Tableaux: allows students to visualize, perceive and consider viewpoints.


Story Map-Used to show the rising and falling action in a story. Students fill in the chart based on the story or chapter they are reading. First draw and then describe the action.

Statue: Students create a statue by imagining objects or ideas that created a lasting impression from the story. Symbols are representations of powerful ideas and create lasting impressions on the reader.

Maps- drawn in large format of the setting provide useful knowledge about the story. These work especially well with adventure stories where images are placed on boxes along the route the characters took. Visually powerful and often very colorful.

Character Quotations: The teacher previews the text and pulls out important information about the main issue at hand. Students are given different quotations and work together as detectives to figure out who the person is and what is the problem.

Retelling: Have students retell parts of the story regarding setting, plot sequence, character motivation, conflicts and resolutions. Summarizing key points is an important skill.

More Ideas

A few Word Games for students.