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Using THIEVES to Preview Nonfiction Texts
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 40-minute sessions|
Schoharie, New York
Students use previewing skills in their everyday lives to decide what foods to eat, clothes to buy, and movies to watch. In this lesson, students use previewing to activate their prior knowledge and set a purpose for reading. Using a strategy called THIEVES, which is an acronym for title, headings, introduction, every first sentence in a paragraph, visuals and vocabulary, end-of-chapter questions, and summary, students are guided through a preview of a nonfiction text. After guided practice, partners work together to use the strategy to preview a chapter from a textbook. Students discuss what information they "stole" from the chapter and discuss how the strategy is useful in better understanding a text. In a culminating activity, students write a letter to their partner in which they describe why previewing is a helpful strategy and describe how to use the THIEVES approach.
The Elements of THIEVES: Students can use this handout to help them use the THIEVES strategy to preview a nonfiction text.
Manz, S.L. (2002). A strategy for previewing textbooks: Teaching readers to become THIEVES. The Reading Teacher, 55, 434–435.
- Surveying the specific elements of a textbook chapter will help students activate prior knowledge, as well as identify their purpose and expectations for reading the chapter.
- Perusing the title, headings, introduction, topic sentences, visuals, vocabulary, end-of-chapter questions, and summary before reading the text itself helps readers identify important concepts, establish a context, and note significant points.