Prior Knowledge: Look Inside Your Head

Activating your prior knowledge means using what you already know to help you understand something new. It's like putting on your thinking cap and pulling out thoughts that can help you understand what you're reading.
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Five Eyes
Harley and the Davidsons

You know more than you realize!
Try reading one of the texts here and find out!
The Prince and the Goose Girl
Extreme Energy
Older Kids Need Booster Seats

There's No Such Things as Monsters
Diamond Search in North America

What's the Genre?
First, read the text. Can you tell what kind of text it is? That's called the GENRE. Every kind of text has some common things that show which genre it belongs to.
The Prince and the Goose Girl
Diamond Search in North America
Five Eyes
Older Kids Need Booster Seats
Extreme Energy
There's No Such Things as Monsters
Harley and the Davidsons

Click on the text to underline words that help you figure out the genre. Click again to remove the underline.

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The prince was strong and kind but very shy.
The prince watched from a high window.
She had dark hair and fiery eyes.
She herded the geese and gathered up into her basket the feathers they shed.
She had dark hair and fiery eyes.
He wanted to come closer...

The diamond (di-mnd) is the hardest known natural material.
They are carried up to the surface in ancient rock called kimberlite (kim'br-lit')
Machines dig into the earth like giant screws and come up with diamonds.
Most diamond mines are in Africa, Asia and Australia.
The search is on for diamonds in the northern United States. Kimberlite with garnets has been found there.

In Hans' old Mill his three black cats
Their five eyes smouldering green and bright:
Then down they pounce, now in, now out,
While lean old Hans he snores away
Out come his cats all grey with meal --

Mr. Garza is a car safety expert.
Older kids started to raise their hands, but then put their hands down.
Even some fourth graders do. It depends on your body weight, he said. Kids who weigh eighty pounds or less, no matter how old they are, need a car seat or a booster seat.
Would you rather be safe or cool? Mr. Garza asked.
Would you rather be safe or cool? Mr. Garza asked.

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Setting: Bedroom at night.
Kenny-Monster is snoring.
(Mumbling, half asleep.)
Zoe! I hear a monster under the bed!


The prince was strong and kind but very shy.
The prince watched from a high window.
She had dark hair and fiery eyes.
She herded the geese and gathered up into her basket the feathers they shed.
She had dark hair and fiery eyes.
He wanted to come closer...

The diamond (di-mnd) is the hardest known natural material.
They are carried up to the surface in ancient rock called kimberlite (kim'br-lit')
Machines dig into the earth like giant screws and come up with diamonds.
Most diamond mines are in Africa, Asia and Australia.
The search is on for diamonds in the northern United States. Kimberlite with garnets has been found there.
Most diamond mines are in Africa, Asia and Australia.

In Hans' old Mill his three black cats
Their five eyes smouldering green and bright
Then down they pounce, now in, now out,
While lean old Hans he snores away
Out come his cats all grey with meal --

Mr. Garza is a car safety expert.
Older kids started to raise their hands, but then put their hands down.
Even some fourth graders do. It depends on your body weight, he said. Kids who weigh eighty pounds or less, no matter how old they are, need a car seat or a booster seat.
Would you rather be safe or cool? Mr. Garza asked.
Would you rather be safe or cool? Mr. Garza asked.

1
2
3
4

Setting: Bedroom at night.
Kenny-Monster is snoring.
(Mumbling, half asleep.)
Zoe! I hear a monster under the bed!


The prince was strong and kind but very shy.: I know what it's like to be shy.
The prince watched from a high window.: Castles have high walls and towers.
She had dark hair and fiery eyes.: Fire makes a bright glow.
She herded the geese and gathered up into her basket the feathers they shed.: I have a feather pillow.
She had dark hair and fiery eyes.: Fire makes a bright glow.
He wanted to come closer...: The prince always marries the girl and lives happily ever after.

The diamond (di-mnd) is the hardest known natural material.: Things that are natural are formed in nature.
They are carried up to the surface in ancient rock called kimberlite (kim'br-lit'): The elevator in our building can take us all the way up to the roof.
Machines dig into the earth like giant screws and come up with diamonds.: A screw looks like a nail, only spiral-shaped instead of straight.
Most diamond mines are in Africa, Asia and Australia.: Africa, Australia and Asia are faraway continents.
The search is on for diamonds in the northern United States. Kimberlite with garnets has been found there.: I live in Wisconsin and that is in the northern United States.

In Hans' old Mill his three black cats: A mill is where they grind grain to make flour.
Their five eyes smouldering green and bright: 3 x 2 = 6
Then down they pounce, now in, now out,: My cat likes to pounce on her cat toy.
While lean old Hans he snores away: Lean means skinny.
Out come his cats all grey with meal --: When you mix black and white you get gray.

Mr. Garza is a car safety expert.: An expert knows a lot about something.
Older kids started to raise their hands, but then put their hands down.: Older kids don't like to be called babies.
Even some fourth graders do. It depends on your body weight, he said. Kids who weigh eighty pounds or less, no matter how old they are, need a car seat or a booster seat.: I'm a 4th grader so I don't need a car seat.
Would you rather be safe or cool? Mr. Garza asked.: I always wear a bike helmet even though it looks silly.
Would you rather be safe or cool? Mr. Garza asked.: I always wear a bike helmet even though it looks silly.

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Setting: Bedroom at night.: My bedroom is dark at night.
Kenny-Monster is snoring.: Snoring can be very noisy!
(Mumbling, half asleep.): Sleeping people talk funny.
Zoe! I hear a monster under the bed!: Little kids can be scared of monsters.




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