Rationale: It is very important for students to comprehend what they are reading. Students should ask themselves questions while they are reading so they can comprehend the material and improve their memory. Students should ask why, when, where, and how questions when they are reading an article. In this lesson the students will learn different strategies on how to understand what they are reading. They will work in groups and discuss the article that they read. They will present their questions to the class. They will be assessed by reading another article and coming up with proper questions.
Materials: National Geographic Online Article- Bug Invasion Cicadas to Swarm Eastern U.S. paper and pencils, National Geographic Online Article- Porky Pets
1. Does everyone remember how to read silently? Well you read without making any noise. Everyone pick up your Bug Invasion Cicadas to Swarm Eastern U.S. Article and read the first line silently. Great Job everyone!
2. Today I am going to teach you a strategy to help you remember the information you read better. We are going to learn to ask questions as we read. These questions will help you remember the main ideas of the article. It is important to ask questions that begin with when, where, why, and how.
3. Now I want everyone to read the article silently and start thinking of questions that start with when, where, why, and how. After you read the article write down at least five questions. You should have one of each, when, where, why, and how question on your list.
4. I am going to go over some example questions that you might ask yourself after reading this article. After reading this article I might ask-How many years will it be before the bugs come back? Does everyone notice that I used how at the beginning of my question. This is an important question because it will help you remember how many years it will be before the bugs come back and it is 17 years. Another question I might ask myself- what are Cicadas? I used what at the beginning of my question. This will help me remember the characteristics of Cicadas. They are flying, plant- eating insects.
5. Now I am going to divide the class into groups of three. Everyone in the group will have a specific job. One person will be the group supervisor and they will be in charge of all the other group members’ behavior. One person will be the recorder. They will write down the questions. The last person will be the presenter and they will present the questions to the whole class. I want the whole group to discuss whether or not the questions they picked are good questions. Choose five questions to use in your presentation to the class. Make sure your questions will help you remember the information and comprehend it better.
6. All the groups will present the questions to the class. The whole class will then vote on whether or not the questions will help you remember and comprehend the information better. I will then remind the students to use how, when, why, and where at the beginning of their questions so it will help them remember the information better.
7. I will have each student read the article Porky Pets. They will come up with questions and I will grade their questions to make sure they are helping them remember and comprehend the information.
Book: Pressely, Micheal, Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text, University of Chicago, 1989, p 15-16.
Internet Site: Bug Invasion: Cicadas to Swarm Eastern U.S.
Porky Pets- http://news.nationalgeographic.com/kids/2004/04/fatcats.html
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