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Readers possess vast amounts of knowledge gained from their prior experiences and exposures. The more they are helped to use that knowledge for connecting new ideas to known subjects as they read, the better their comprehension will be. Discussions before reading have been a traditional way to activate students' schema for stories, but a new method that integrates technology into the curriculum in the form of CDs prepared by children bears examination. Such CDs are an innovative way to activate readers' schema. The process of making the CDs enhances the use of reading and writing together to construct meaning while at the same time modeling the metacognition skills so important to success in reading. The CD contains information about children's books in sections on main character, vocabulary, problem, and clues which set the purpose for reading. The CD was produced with a group of third-grade students, and the objective for the students was to decide the background information that would be needed by other readers to successfully understand the story. A specific CD for the book "Cat Walk" (Mary Stolz) illustrates the process. The entire process, from the first readers to the end users, helps to place importance on thinking about what knowledge and experiences are needed to understand stories at an enhanced level and models the use of prior knowledge to enhance meaning. (Contains an "extension text set" bibliography for use with "Cat Walk," 7 references, and illustrations.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Instructional Innovation, Optical Data Disks, Primary Education, Prior Learning, Reading Comprehension, Reading Strategies, Schemata (Cognition), Student Developed Materials, Technology Integration

Autor: Goss, Gail


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