What is First Line Strategy?

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Check Out the New Blog First line strategyFirst line strategy or Prediction strategy is an active learning technique that promotes pre- reading. In this strategy students are instructed to read the first line of the text and make predictions about what they may learn from the content. After the text is read, students are encouraged to evaluate and support their predictions with evidence from the text and to revise their original predictions to form new ones.

Benefits of first line strategy:

First line strategy helps students to improve their reading comprehension. Students are instructed to find evidence to support their predictions and this exercise facilitates and enhances their cognitive skills, including logical thinking and critical analysis. It also helps them to focus their attention on the reading material. The technique helps them to activate their previous knowledge and form bridges between the existing and new learning.

The predictions provide teachers with information regarding the students’ level of understanding of the topic, based on which they can structure their instruction.

Incorporating First line strategy in the classroom:

Like with all techniques, introduction of the strategy involves instruction regarding its purpose, the steps for performing and modeling the technique by the teacher.

The reading material is chosen and the first line is presented to the class, either as a cut out of the sentence, writing on the board or projected using a LCD.  The teacher can ask the students to read out the sentence loudly and collectively and this can be done a few times to help stimulate the next phase i.e. forming predictions.

Students are given some time to formulate predictions based on the first sentence. These predictions are points that the students feel they may learn once the text is read. They are reminded that there are no right/wrong predictions and that the prediction should be supported by evidence from the sentence.

In the initial phase, the teacher can group students and ask each group to come up with at least one prediction and these can be written down on the board to prevent repetition. As students become more experienced in forming predictions, the teacher can pass out index lists on which the predictions are recorded. The teacher then facilitates a discussion about these predictions.

Next the students are instructed to read the text and find evidence from the text that supports their predictions. In this phase students can critically analyze their predictions and revise their original predictions or add in new predictions. Recording the reason for revision or formulating new predictions further strengthens the comprehension of the material.

Discuss here: What is your experience with pre-reading strategies like the first line strategy?

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