All the Right Questions
Reading to Learn
Amy Chastang

Rationale:         As children get older, reading becomes more natural and less  frustrating as they become more and         more  fluent.  The next step in reading is reading to learn or obtain information.  Using the five main question words, this lesson will help children learn ways to comprehend what they read.

Materials:     A copy of the book ãThe Watsonâs Go to Birminghamä (publisher-   Random House, author- Christopher Paul Curtis), paper, and pencil.

1)     ãDoes everyone remember how to read silently? Well, today we are going to learn some new ways to remember things when we read and we are going to be doing some silent reading.  When you read silently, you read the words to yourself without talking or moving your mouth.ä  (Model silent reading).

2)     ãNow that we all remember silent reading, letâs talk about reading and its purpose.  Can anyone tell me why we read things?  Why to you read the menu when you go to a restaurant?ä  (Discuss that the purpose of reading is to find out information and understanding what we read is called comprehension.)

3)     ãNow I want everyone to take out the book ãWatsonâs Go to Birmingham-1963ä and we are going to read a passage.ä I will assign the class a paragraph to read in the book.

4)     ãNow who can tell me everything that happened in that section? Sometimes we forget important details when we read silently because we are not thinking about what is going on in the book.  Now I am going to show you a good way to help you always remember what is happening in something that you read.ä

5)     ãThe best way to comprehend your reading is by asking questions. What kind of questions do you think you should ask when you are reading?  Well, important questions to ask are the 5 Ws.  Who? What?  When?  Where? Why?  The Îwhoâ question is to find out who the characters are involved in the section.  The Îwhatâ question is to find out what happened in the section.  The Îwhenâ question is to find out if the section is talking about something that happened in the past, present, or future.  The Îwhereâ question is to find out where that part happened if it is somewhere other than the setting of the book. The Îwhyâ question is to find out the reasons for the action in the passage.ä

6)     ãNow letâs answer all those questions about the passage that we just read and see if it makes more sense.ä  Discuss the answers to the W questions pertaining to the passage that the students read silently.  Record the answers on the board and see if the explanation of the passage makes more sense than the studentâs verbal explanations without the comprehension strategy.

7)     As the students are answering the questions, they may have forgotten the answers to some of them.  This would be a good time to model and show the students how to look back and search for information that will answer the question.

8)     ãNow I want everyone to read another passage silently.  This time you are going to be asking yourself these questions as you read.  After you have finished reading, I want you to write down the five questions and your responses to them on a piece of paper.ä

Assessment:      I will collect the papers and assess their comprehension based on the answers to the questions.

Melissa Jackson, Who, What, When, Where, and Why Is he There?

Ally Ellison, Read and Retain!

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