Michelle Harris
Reading to Learn


Rationale:  As students get older, they begin to read more and more.  They come in contact with unfamiliar concepts and new vocabulary.  Students must develop comprehension strategies to understand and apply the unfamiliar concepts.  One comprehension strategy is question-answering strategies.  This strategy will help students learn from the text they are reading.

Materials:  text: Discover Science (grade 4 Science) Scott, Foresman 1989; paper; pencils
1. “Today we will be learning a strategy to help us understand what we are reading.”
2. “This strategy is like the summarization strategy we learned before.  Remember summarization was when we asked ourselves questions about what we were reading and found the main idea of the passage.”
3. “I want everyone to take out your Science textbook.  Read the passage about food safety in Unit 4: Human Body.  When you are finished reading the passage, look up.”
4. “O.k., now that everyone is done, let’s talk about the passage and about question-answering strategies.”  We will talk about what the students read in their text.  They read about food safety and preventing food poisoning.  Then, I will explain question-answering strategies.  “The questions at the end of the section help us pick out the relevant information in the passage.  In order to answer the questions correctly we must look back to the passage.  The answers to all these questions are found in the passage.  Let’s all answer the first question about food safety together.”
5. After making sure all the children understand looking back to answer questions, I will ask them to do the rest of the questions themselves.
6. I will watch the students answer the questions to make sure that everyone is looking back to find the answer.  When everyone has finished, I will collect the papers to make sure that everyone answered the questions correctly.

Reference:  Pressley, Michael.  Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text.  The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90, number 1.  1989.

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