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Lesson Plan

Viking Voyagers: Navigating Online Content Area Reading

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Viking Voyagers: Navigating Online Content Area Reading

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 40- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathleen Smyth

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Groups consisting of three students explore Viking culture through online resources that include texts, videos, animations, and games. Students implement before-, during-, and after-reading strategies to support their comprehension while navigating the websites, using a Pre- and Postreading Questionnaire. During their research, the groups make use of an Inquiry Chart to organize facts into topic areas (daily life, warfare, religion, etc.) and compare information from different sources. Lesson activities require students to work cooperatively, research, and synthesize the information acquired, then apply the information as they engage in an online Viking Quest Game.

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Massey, D.D., & Heafner, T.L. (2004). Promoting reading comprehension in social studies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(1), 2638.

  • Middle school teachers need to support students with strategies to help them comprehend content area texts.

  • Middle school students need to develop a repertoire of strategies for before, during, and after reading to support their comprehension of content area material.

  • Prereading activities should establish a purpose for reading and help students access background knowledge, during-reading activities should help students understand information using graphic organizers, and postreading activities should use questions to monitor comprehension.

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