Familiar Text

Re-reading, Anchor Text, Teaching Text, Multiple Readings, Choice Book

UDL 2.3 UDL 3.1

Teachers may provide a previously-taught book or passage as a practice text when students are learning a new skill. Using a familiar text creates an opportunity for students to focus on the new literacy skill without getting hung up on decoding or comprehension. Working with a familiar text while taking on a new task can also promote student confidence and engagement.

Implementation Tips

Student Choice
Offer students choice among previously-read texts to increase engagement.
Anchor Text
Select an "anchor text" to work with throughout a unit or semester. Anything can serve as an anchor text: a poem, a short story, a newspaper article, a chapter from a novel, a picture book. Use this text to model new literacy skills (e.g., annotating text, identifying character traits, interpreting figurative language). Be sure students interact with the text often, re-reading it independently and as a class so the content remains familiar.
Referencing Familiar Text
Create reference charts and exemplars using content from familiar texts.
Connecting to New Texts
Use familiar texts as reference points to activate background knowledge before introducing new texts (e.g., "Just like we located evidence of Orwell's perceived dystopia in 1984, I want you to look for a similar attitude from the author, Aldous Huxley, in our next book, Brave New World.")


Language Arts
Use a familiar article to model locating main idea or topic sentences.
Craft a thesis or essay-prompt based on a previously-read class text.
Social Studies
Practice discussions using informational texts students have already read and annotated extensively.

Related Strategies