Rationale: The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension, or understanding the overall of message of what has just been read. To help us comprehend, we can adopt some good comprehension strategies (independent self-help tactics). One good comprehension strategy we can use while reading, is to think of questions that help us connect information from different parts of the text. It is thought that this improves comprehension and memory of the text because we become active readers when we generate questions while reading. In this lesson, students will learn to develop good questions by having to pick out questions that are helpful in comprehending a certain passage and generating their own questions to help them comprehend a text.
Materials: Overhead projector
Overhead projector sheet with the passage “What is a Law?” printed on it (http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/lawmaking/index.html)
White board/Chalk board, White board marker or chalk
Class set (or at least enough for half the class) of Fire in Their Eyes by Karen Magnuson Beil
Class set of assessment sheet (attached)
Paper for each student
Pencil or other writing utensil for each student
Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by asking students,“Why do we read?” If students do not give an answer about comprehending or understanding the text then provide then with a few answers to select from (such as A. to keep ourselves busy, B. to get enough points for a pizza party, or C. to comprehend or understand something). To help us comprehend a text, we can become “active readers.” One way to do this is to ask ourselves questions about the text while we read.
2. I am going to show you the difference asking questions can make when I read this text. The first time, I am going to read it through without asking myself any questions or doing anything but reading the text. Teacher will then read out loud (quickly and boringly) the passage “What is a Law?” Then on the board, she/he will write down everything she/he remembers from the text, making sure to only write one or two word phrases that are not very important to the meaning of the text (when not connected to other points about the text).
3. Now, I am going to read the text again. But this time, I am going to stop every now and then to ask myself a question about information I think is important to the overall meaning of the text. Ask students "What makes a good question?" After they have provided some feeback, tell them that good questions ask about information that is important to the overall meaning of the text. They also bring ideas together and of course, they can be answered! Teacher will then read out loud again the text, but this time stopping at after the following words to ask questions:
· rules or laws. –How is day-to-day life like a board game?
· side of the road! –Do all countries have the same laws?
· state governments. –Who makes laws?
· national level. –What is the difference between national and state laws?
Then on the board, she/he will write down everything she/he remembers from the text, making sure to write complete phrases or sentences about the text that are important to the overall meaning of the text (guided by the questions) and show comprehension of different parts of the text.
4. Now, I want you to pair up with your neighbor and take out your Fudge-a-Mania books. I want the partner on my left to first read from the beginning of Chapter 3 (page 14) to the end of the first paragraph on page 16 outloud to their partner. Don’t generate any questions this time. Afterwords, write down the information you remember. Then, you will switch and the partner on my right will read from the beginning of Chapter 7 (page 50) to the end of first paragraph on page 52 outloud to their partner. Again, do not think of any questions while you read. When you are done write down the information you remember.
5. After each partner has read through their passage once, I want you to switch back again. This time each partner will read their passage and generate questions while they read that will help them understand the overall meaning of the passage. Make sure when you are done reading, that you have at least asked yourself three questions. When you are done reading, again write down the information you remember. You should notice that you remember and understand more of the text when you ask yourself questions while you are reading.
pass out and have
students complete assessment sheets that have them pick the best
ask after reading a passage.
Beil, Karen M. Fire in Their Eyes. 1999. Scholastic Inc.:
Stanley, Sarah. “Fat or Skinny?” http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/explor/stanleyrl.html.
Click here to return to Inventions.