Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reading Strategies: Filling in the Blank

As I mentioned previously, many people focus on sounding it out to figure out unknown words. While this may work for some words, it is impossible to use this method for every word! Think of the words knee, the, etc. To deal with these words, other strategies are needed to find meaning.

One strategy that can be used is fill in the blank. In this strategy, children use context and background knowledge to read the sentence and find the missing word that they are having trouble with.

For example: "The cat played with a ball of ____." In this sentence, children can tap into their background knowledge, make use of the pictures in book and take clues from the text around the missing word to figure out the missing word of yarn.

There are several activities that can gear children towards using this strategy in their everyday reading. Most children will eventually do these things on their own, but for children just learning to use strategies in their reading, they may need a little help to get them going.

Make it fun by playing a game where well-known stories are read with several words smudged. Let the children be detectives and investigate what the word could be. After doing these activities, they will be on their way to becoming a fluent reader!

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