Question What You Read


Shona Butcher
Reading to Learn

Rationale: The main goal of reading is comprehension.  Teaching children comprehension strategies will help them to develop a better understanding of what they read. The strategy that this lesson focuses on is question answering.  This will teach students to read the story and look back and skim to find some answers to particular questions.  This reading comprehension strategy will improve the student’s comprehension and memory when reading.

Materials: Chalk, chalkboard, paper, pencils, Alabama Its History and Geography page 45-46, page 48-49, and pages 50-52

1. Today class we are going to learn a strategy to help us become better readers.  Not only is it important to read quickly but it is also important to comprehend what we read.  Comprehension is when we understand what we read.  There are different strategies that all work to improve reading comprehension.  Today we will work with a strategy that is called question answering.

2. Before we begin learning about our comprehension strategy I want to review what we learned last week.  Does anyone remember what we learned last week about silent reading?  Great Job!  You are exactly right.  Silent reading is when you read quietly to yourself where no one else can hear you.  While you are silently reading your lips should not be moving.  Now class I am going to show what it looks like when I am silently reading.  (Hold article up and read along making no noise and keeping my lips still).  Class watch closely as I read silently.  You will not be able to hear or see me doing anything.  Now class I want you to practice your silent reading by reading page 45-46 of your Alabama History book the section labeled Paleo Indians.  "Paleo Indians were the first families of Alabama.  Their ancestors crossed the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska 20, 000 or so years ago.  Slowly, in small family groups, they moved south.  Year by year they came closer to land now known as Alabama.  About 8, 000 years after their ancestors crossed the land bridge, Paleo Indians arrived in our state.  Today, their artifacts are found throughout Alabama.  We know they sometimes camped under the rock bluffs of north Alabama.  Paleo Indians did not have horses or other pack animals, so they had to carry their possessions.  Because they ate mostly meat, finding food was a job they never finished.  The people moved wherever there were animals they could kill" (Dodd, 1993, 45-46).  Perfect silent reading, let’s move on.

3. Now class let’s talk about asking questions and finding the answers.  The article that you just read is about Paleo Indians.  Here is a worksheet that has some questions that you could find the answers to in the section about Paleo Indians.  Remember class that all reading holds information, some is more important than other.  Class the questions that are listed on your worksheet are important because it provides us with an understanding and facts about Paleo Indians.

(Each Student has a copy of the worksheet.  I will write each question on the board).  After each student has finished reading the article we will talk about how to find the answers to the questions.  Class it is very important that once you have read you can go back and scan through the reading to find the answers to your questions like the ones listed above.  You do not have to completely read the section again to find the answers.  Read selected sentences only.  We will skim the chapter together and find the answers to questions that are listed above.
4. Now I will have each student read silently the section in their Alabama History book about Woodland Indians.  "A group of Indians moved from the Archaic to Woodland stage of development.  When they began to live in the same places most of the time.  Crop cultivation or planting, growing, and harvesting crops made it possible to live in one place.  Hunting parties would stay for days but the family stayed in a village near the crops.  As obtaining food for living was easier, the Woodland Indians had time to advance in other ways.  They made clay pottery and bone jewelry, and buried their dead in mounds" (Dodd, 1993, 48-49).  Each student will make up questions for this section based on what they read.  Then the students will swap questions with a partner and skim the section to find the answers.  We will come back to a large group and find out if anyone is having problems finding answers to their questions.  This activity brings together the information on Woodland Indians.

5. For assessment I will have the class read silently the section on Mississippian Indians and
Answer the following questions to be turned into me.

1. Dodd, Bower, Andress, and Ralston.  (1993).  Alabama Its History and Geography.  Montgomery, Alabama: Clairmont Press.
2. Pressley, Michael.  (1989).  Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text.  The Elementary School Journal Volume 90, number 1.

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