Questions, Questions, Questions!!

  By Donna Macklin

Rational:  Young children need to develop the ability to ask questions.  Asking questions while reading will improve a childís reading comprehension and memory.

Materials: The Borrowers by Mary Norton, Random House, 1988, paper, pencils, chalk and chalkboard, A New Day (multiple copies), Silver Burdett and Ginn, 1989

1.  " Today class, we are going to learn a strategy to help us become better readers."   "The strategy is called question generation."
2. " Before we begin, I want to review something we learned last week."  " Remember silent reading is when you read to yourself without moving your lips."  I will demonstrate this to the children to activate their prior knowledge.  " I want you to practice your silent reading by reading the back cover of the borrowers."  "Good, lets move on."
3."Ok, lets talk about asking questions."  "I have a book called The Borrowers and I am going to read what it is about on the back side." "As I am reading, I am going to ask out loud some questions that come to my mind."  [Teacher reads the following:  Only pod is allowed to venture into the house above, because the danger being seen by a human is too great.]  "What is a pod?  Why is it too dangerous?  Why canít they be seen by a human?"   "I read only a few sentences and I have so many questions." It is important when you ask questions that they cover important information and bring the story together.All your questions should be answered.My questions are important because it is information I do not know and it is important to the story. "This skill is so important because it will help you understand better what you are reading and it will improve your memory."   "I want you to try it."  [Talking to the whole class]  "I want you to read the first page of the Borrowers, come up with some questions and then raise your hand."  The teacher will write the questions on the board when they raise their hand.  "Okay, great questions!" Those questions were great because they are bringing the story together.
4. For practice I would have the students read the next page and write their question down on a piece of paper.  I would have them pair up and ask each other the questions.

5.Assessment:Students will read a passage from A New Day and make up a quiz.

Reference:  Pressley, Michael.  Strategies That Improve Childrenís Memory and Comprehension of Text.  The Elementary School Journal Volume 90, number 1. 1989.The Reading Genie

Click here to return to Elucidations