“I can answer that!”

 

Reading to Learn

 Katie Kirkpatrick

 

Rational:  Comprehension is the main goal of reading.  Helping students develop comprehension strategies will help them better understand the text that they have read.  This lesson focuses on the comprehension strategy of questioning.  This lesson will allow students to develop their own comprehension questions.  Developing this strategy will help students improve their memory and comprehension of a story.

 

Materials:  newspaper, The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, sticky notes, Checklist:

                                                               i.      Are the questions surface level?

                                                             ii.      How did they answer the questions?  Did they find an answer or give a way to discover the answer. 

                                                            iii.      Did the questions show how well they comprehended the story?

 

Procedure:

  1. Good morning class!  Today we are going to be working on becoming excellent comprehenders.  In order to become a better reader and comprehender, one must practice using a certain strategy.  Who can tell me what it means to comprehend something?  Very good!  It means that we understood what we read.  There are many different strategies that we could work on to improve reading comprehension, but today we are going to work on the questioning strategy.
  2. Before we begin, I want to talk about what we learned about silent reading.  Who can tell me what it means to read silently?  Very good, it means that the reader reads quietly to yourself where no one else can hear you.  It means exactly what it says; to read silently.  We know that when we read silently our lips should not be moving.  I am going to read this newspaper silently, and I want ya’ll to notice what I am doing.  (Hold up the newspaper, begin reading silently and without moving your lips.)  As you could see, my lips were not moving, and could you hear me say anything?  No, because I was reading only in my mind and not out loud.  Now I want you to read pages 11- 13 of The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Excellent job class!  I did not hear any voices, nor did I see any mouths moving.
  3. Who can tell me what I mean by knowing how to generate good questions?  Well, when we are reading a story, we are constantly finding out knew information.  When we come to a part that we do not understand, then it is our job to begin asking ourselves questions to help us discover the answer.  Asking ourselves questions as we read will help us to comprehend the story better.  Some ways that we can determine the answer is to read on, look up a word or words in the dictionary, explore an idea on the Internet, or ask for help.  Did any of you have any questions about the first few pages?  (Answer questions) When we come across something that we want to know more about, or something that we do not understand, then we can write down our question so that we will remember to answer it.    I am going to read the first paragraph on page 12.  I want you to follow along with me.  But as I read, when I come across a question, I am going to write my question down on a sticky note.  That way I do not forget it.  Model how to do this.  Well, I did write down one question.  I did not understand what “sixty if he was a day” meant.  After I wrote down this question, I began to ask myself, what does that mean?  Does the next couple of sentences or phrases clue me in to the answer?  As you discover questions about a story, you will continue on to find the answer.  Writing down some questions that you might have will help you remember them and it will help you comprehend the story better.  Finish discussing what the phrase “sixty if he was a day” meant. 
  4. Now it is your turn to try this strategy.  I want you to read pages 14-18.  As you read I want each one of you to write down some questions that you have.  After you have finished, see if your question has been answered.  If so, write the correct answer on the sticky note.  If it has not, write down how you might be able to discover the answer.  Remember that we are not writing down questions like where is Matt or Keith from?  We are reading deeper, and trying to answer questions about comprehension.  Ask questions that will help you understand the story better.  For example, “Why was Keith hoping to find rats?  Was Keith upset with his parents?”  Okay, you may begin reading and do not forget to write down your questions. Walk around to make sure students are writing good questions.  
  5. For assessment, I will have my students discuss some of their questions and answers.  Listening to their questions and answers will give me a good idea of how well they understand this comprehension strategy.  Since we will not have time to go over everybody’s answer, I will collect each student’s questions and answers.  I will use a checklist to evaluate my students understanding. 
     
    1. Checklist:

                                                               i.      Are the questions surface level?

                                                             ii.      How did they answer the questions?  Did they find an answer or give a way to discover the answer. 

                                                            iii.      Did the questions show how well they comprehended the story?

 

References:

Cleary, Beverly.  The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Scholastic Inc:  New York, New York, 1965.

Shona Butcher, Question What You Read

Pressley, Michael. “Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text”. The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90: 1. University of Western Ontario, 1989.

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