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Literacy strategies allow readers to interpret literature and retain the information being read. There are many different types of literary strategies used for beginning readers as well as those used by seasoned readers. Some of the frequently used types of basic strategies include introduction of sight words, prediction, and sequencing; activating prior knowledge, fluency, and questioning also help beginning readers. Advanced strategies include determining the author's bias, credentials, and purpose for the literary piece.
Early readers and prereaders are taught prediction and questioning as literacy strategies — they help build a foundation for reading comprehension. Predicting what may happen next in a story is a great tool that can lead to literary analysis and reinforce cause-and-effect comprehension. Phonics and identifying sight words are common literacy strategies used when children are first beginning to read as well. Building a vocabulary of sight words can help bring about fluency when reading. Common words such as "the" and "because" are early sight words as they are used at a higher frequency than most other words in literature.
All people have prior knowledge of some sort. This defines the experiences that a person has gone through in his or her life so far. When reading, the reader uses prior knowledge in order to comprehend the text. Most literature does not define every term used, so prior knowledge is relied upon to understand concepts and terms that are not clearly defined in the text.
Sequencing is a literacy strategy used to illustrate what comes first, next, and last in a story. A child who is learning to read can benefit from sequencing activities because this will help him or her to predict outcomes that lead to literary comprehension. A common sequencing activity includes cutting out boxed illustrations and pasting them in the correct sequential order as they would occur in a story. Another sequencing example would be to read a story and ask questions about what parts came first, next, and last in the story.
Advanced literacy strategies include both writing strategies and reading strategies. Determining an author's bias or purpose can help a reader understand the context of a story. Understanding the author's perspective can also help determine the author's bias. When advanced readers analyze and respond to literature, these strategies are helpful. A literary response is a writing strategy based on comprehension. A literary response can be utilized in both beginning and advanced literacy strategies.
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