Pre-Reading, Reading & Post-Reading Activities

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  • 0:01 Ensuring Understanding
  • 0:40 Pre-Reading
  • 1:39 During Reading
  • 2:33 Post-Reading
  • 3:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

For your students to get the most out of their work, you shouldn't just throw a book at them. Instead, carefully constructed pre-reading, reading, and post-reading activities allow you to check for understanding and help increase interest.

Pre-Reading, Reading and Post-Reading Activities

Let's face it, the ultimate goal of reading is not to have students just sound out the words that they are reading, but instead to understand that what they are reading has inherent meaning. In fact, reading comprehension is one of the most important skills that we can teach. As such, it is important at all stages of education to give students the advantage of being able to understand the assigned reading material. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the stages of pre-reading, reading, and post-reading. While looking at each, we'll not only discuss the reasons to allocate resources to each in the first place, but also provide examples of activities that can be done at each stage.

Imagine two scenarios: In the first, your friend has dragged you to see a movie that you know nothing about. She won't even tell you the plot, yet you are expected to buy your ticket and give up your Friday night. It could be an awesome movie, or it could be a waste of time. In the second scenario, you've been waiting for a movie to come out for months. You've watched every trailer online and had your tickets from the moment they went on sale. Which movie do you think you'd retain more from?


Pre-reading, or exercises done before reading to prepare for the act of reading should have the same goals in mind. They should prepare the student to read the book and give some insight on the story. For younger students, making sure they have the vocabulary necessary to handle the text is crucial. Games to teach those words could be a fun way to bring students in. For older students, making sure they understand the significance of a work is important. For example, Animal Farm is a very different book if read with knowledge of the events of the Russian Revolution that inspired it.

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