Fat or Skinny?
Rationale: Comprehension is essential for reading. But to get children to really comprehend we
have to get them to question what they read.
This does not mean asking factual questions about what color the
collar was (skinny questions), but questions that make them think
questions). This lesson focuses on
helping children go further in their reading and help them learn how to
those fat questions to use on their own.
“The Case of
the Rainy Day
Mystery” by James Preller (Copies for each student)
Can I find the answer to my question by rereading?
Do I have to make an inference to answer my question?
Could their be more than one answer to my question?
- We are going to be working on our
comprehending skills today. Can anyone
tell me what I mean when I say comprehending? Good! It means to really understand what we read. We are going to work on understanding what we
read and ask some really good questions.
- Now there are two types of questions
you can ask, fat or skinny. Skinny
questions are factual questions. For
example, what color shirt is Joey wearing? Blue,
that is a fact. But it does not make you
think further. Now what if I asked you why
Joey was wearing the blue shirt. There
could be a lot of different answer to that question.
So now that we know the different types of questions, we
should probably talk about how you know when a question is fat or
- If you can find your answer by
rereading the story or if it is something that was clearly stated in
the book, what kind of question would that be? Good!
A skinny question. What if you asked a
question where you had to make a guess or if there is more than one
answer to it? Great! That
would be a fat question. Now, remember our
silent reading skills? Right, that means
that we need to read to ourselves. As I
read, I am going to ask questions about what I am reading.
I am going to write each question on a sticky note to keep
track. Watch me as I read the first
paragraph (model for the students).
- I wrote my questions down on this
sticky note and as I wrote them I went through our checklist. Now its your turn. Read
the first chapter of The Case of the Rainy Day Mystery and write your
questions down. Remember our checklist! Keep those questions away from facts that you
can get by reading!
- Look around and check that students
are writing some questions down on their sticky notes.
- For assessment: we
will discuss each other’s questions and see what the different types of
questions and answers we get. Since I
cannot possibly go through every single question with the children I
will pick up their questions and talk to them individually later
through out the day to help them come up with some answers.
Preller, James. “The Case of the Rainy Day Mystery”. Scholastic, Inc. 2003.
Kirkpatrick, Katie. Reading
to Learn. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/kirkpatrickrl.html.
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