Advanced Organizers derive their name from the fact that students use the organizers before the learning process. Ausubel (1960) developed them to serve as a bridge between existing and new knowledge. Advanced Organizers come in four types: Expository (simply describing the new content), Narrative (presents new information in story format), Skimming Material before reading, or Graphical Organizers (using Venn Diagrams, KWL Charts, Pictographs, etc. to preview new material).
The Anticipation/Reaction Guide helps students activate and evaluate prior knowledge. Students make predictions based upon background knowledge and evaluate these predictions after exposure to new information. (H.L. Herber, 1978)
A discussion of the author or creator of the text can be helpful.
Students should identify the origins of the text (date, historical context, and background information about the author.)
Students should then carefully consider: What is the author/creator trying to say? What is his/her viewpoint and purpose for creating the particular work?
(Adapted from Karla Porter, M.Ed.)
Checking out the Framework
This strategy provides students with suggestions for previewing different media formats or several texts on the same topic or by the same author, in order to read strategically. Students explicitly examine different aspects of a reading’s “framework” or organization (i.e. title, captions, visuals, notations, table of contents, author’s notes, etc.) in order to engage them in reading it.
Frayer Model of Vocabulary Development
The Frayer Model of Vocabulary Development helps students attain new vocabulary and concepts essential for understanding a reading by having them complete a chart with the definition, characteristics, examples and non-examples of the term to learn.
The K-W-L-H chart helps students activate prior knowledge, identify areas of inquiry, and reflect on their reading / learning. This strategy was developed by Donna Ogle (1986) and is often used as a whole group activity where a large chart with four columns is made to record everyone’s ideas.
Charts that ask the student to assess their prior knowledge are called Knowledge Ratings (Blachowicz, 1986). The teacher presents students with a list of concepts or topics related to the text, and surveys their knowledge regarding these topics. A variety of headings where students indicate their knowledge and at times offer examples are possible.
The Questions Only strategy helps students become more reflective readers by asking them to generate only questions – not answers – about the primary source they are analyzing. Questions can be focused to provide answers to the lesson’s investigative question or focused to develop increasing insightful questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Semantic Mapping uses the same techniques as Brainstorming, but ideas and associations regarding a text are organized either by the teacher or the students under headings (Masters,Mori and Mori, 1993). In this way, relationships between items, themes, and big ideas are fleshed out and students are tuned into these relationships prior to examining the text. If words are written on post-it-notes then the words can be reorganized and new connections made easily.