What are we Reading for Again?



 Reading to Learn


By:  Jessica Haffarnan

Objective:  Students will learn to question text in order to gain greater comprehension and perspective of the text.  Students that are reading can develop greater reading skills by learning to question texts, which will help them connect to the text and also make inferences. 


-Dry Erase Board

-Dry Erase Markers

-One copy for each student of Where the Wild Things Are

-Notebook Paper



1.  Begin by giving students an introduction to questioning text.  "How many of you read stories and think questions to yourself as you read?  Well, questioning text as you read is a wonderful reading skill.  Coming up with questions as you read is a lot like setting goals for yourself.  You set the question and read for an answer to that question.  After you find the answer, you generate another question." 


2.  "Today we are going to read Where the Wild Things Are.  In this story there is a little boy who misbehaves badly.  He throws tantrums and he makes messes.  Finally his mother sends him to his room, but he doesn't stay there, he decides to go where the wild things are, where he belongs.  He takes a boat all the way to the land of the monsters and becomes their king.  He likes being able to act horrible, but he misses him mom and being home.  Let's read and find out if he is able to go back home or not."  Pass out copies of Where the Wild Things Are.  "I want you all to read along with me and after each page, we are going to write some questions that we are wondering on the board and we will see if they get answered later on in the book."


3.  Read the book aloud to the class as they read it silently.  Write down any questions on the board that they generate after each page.  If they do not offer wonders on the first page, "I wonder if he is going to get punished for acting out so badly."   


4.  "Stories can become more interesting if you keep guessing how they are going to end and then change your prediction as the story changes.  Asking ourselves questions while we read about the plot of the story can help us gather more on the story.  If we know what we are looking for it will be easier to find."


5.  After finishing the story, ask students to write at least 3 questions they were left wondering at the end of the story on their notebook paper. 


6.  Evaluate student's reader response questions the next day based on a generated checklist containing the following criteria:  how they pertain to the story and if they will lead to a deeper understanding of the text, if they are phrased so they are in the same context of the story, and if question was not already answered in the text. 


Sendak, Maurice.  Where the Wild Things Are.  Harper Collins, 1948.

Carrie Smith.  A Quest for Questions.




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