Advance Team


Reading begins with the Advance Team, which happens before you even begin to read.

All leaders find out about where they are going before they get there by sending out scouts.  We do the same thing in reading.  Pre-reading is critical for doing a good job with text.  With the Advance Team, you prepare your mind for battle.

There are four Scouts in the Advance Team:

Motivation Scout: Joy, who gets you excited to do the task.

Purpose Scout: Aimee, who tells you what to do.

Prior Knowledge Scout: Sage, who links the reading to what you already know.

Text Structure Scout: Ruth, who shows you the organization of the text.

You utilize these four scouts to form a plan to attack the reading.


Why is the Advance Team Helpful?

·      Motivating yourself to read activates your attention.  You can trick yourself to care and you will be able to learn better.

·      Figuring out the purpose of reading and knowing the expectations of how the reading relates to your coursework prepares you to read because it gives you direction.

·      When you activate prior knowledge, you are preparing your mind to associate what you know with what you will read, which makes learning faster and better.

·      Knowing the text structure before you read, prepares your mind to look for the facts that lie within the text. Why waste time while reading figuring out what is going on with structure, where you can know it beforehand? Knowing text-structure gives you a roadmap for finding information.

In the end you should have a clear sense of your goals while reading.  Spending time with the Advance Team is no waste of time!  Putting in effort early on pays off in the long run.

Sources: Motivation: John Guthrie, U of Maryland; Prior Knowledge: Daniel Willingham, U of Virginia, Text Structure: Joanna Williams, Columbia University. Compilation: MG Mandelbaum


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