Hilary Brannon
Reading to Learn

The Five W's!

Rationale:  To be able to understand the text as they read children need to
form comprehension strategies.  This lesson will help students to
achieve a comprehension strategy of their own.  This will be achieved by
teaching students to use the story-grammar training method.  This
strategy will also help to motivate students to want to read for

Materials:  paper, pencil, States and Regions textbook, Jane Goodall's
Animal World-Pandas, Rose Red and the Bear Prince.  (All available at
the LRC).

1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that comprehension is the overall
purpose of reading, and that understanding what you read is essential for
learning.  Review silent reading, and assign any appropriate  short
paragraph. Explain that silent reading allows you to read at your own pace
for personal understanding.  Ex:  States and Regions textbook-"Desert

2.  Say:  Today we are going to learn about questions that we should ask
ourselves while we are reading any type of literature.  The questions can
be referred to as the Five W's- Who? What? When? Where? Why? While
you are reading silently, I want you to start  asking yourself these
questions at all times.

3.  Read a short story to the children. Ex: Rose Red and the Bear Prince.
While you are reading stop and form class discussions when key
elements present themselves.  Say: As I read, I am going to stop and ask
myself the five W's.  I want you to think about what you think is important to
the story ,and we will discuss the answers to the five W's as we go along.
By doing this we will hopefully be able to remember  what we read.  Lead
the discussion,(model) asking students the following questions,and urge
them to give answers.Ex; Who? Main characters; What? Main
idea,problem; When? Time period; Where?Where did the story take
place? Why? Is there a reason for this event,etc..?

4.  Pass out a short article to each of the children.  Ask them to read it
silently and ask the five W‚s to themselves.  Discuss the answers to the
five W‚s as a  class.  Ex:  "Protecting the Giant Panda" , Jane Goodall's
Animal World-Pandas

5.  Assessment;  Ask the students to take out their Science or Social
Studies textbook, (Ex:  States and Regions -textbook,  "The Buffalo".pg.
150) and read the article silently.  Have students write out the five W's and
the answers to them from memory.


Presseley, M. Johnson, C.J. Symons, S.McGoldrick, J.A.& Kurity, J.A.(1989)
Strategies that improve children's memory and comprehension of text.
The Elementary School ,10,3-32.

Andreasan, Dan, Rose Red and the Bear Prince, Harper Collins
Publishers, U.S.A.,2000.

Schlein, Miriam, Jane Goodall’s Animal  World-Pandas ,A Byron Priess
Book, Antheheum ,New York,1989.

Kaltsouins, Theodore, States and Regions, Silver Burdett
Company, Morristown, NJ, 1986

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