The 5 W's

Reading to Learn

Madelyn Wright

  Rationale:  Reading comprehension is an important skill for students to master so that they can understand what they are reading.  This lesson will help students to realize the importance of reading comprehension.  Students will learn how to apply comprehension strategies so that they can understand and retain the information that they are reading.  The comprehension strategies that I will teach the students will be the five W's:  Who?  What?  When?  Where?  and Why?.

Materials:  pencils, paper, a copy of Skeleton Hiccups for each student

1. Today we are going to learn about Reading Comprehension.  When we read books it is important to understand and remember what we have read, so that we can apply our knowledge.  You can do this by asking yourself five simple questions while you read.  They are Who?, What?, When?, Where?, and Why?. Write ‘who, what, when, where, why’ on the classroom white board.

2. Review silent reading.  You can ask yourself these five questions while you read silently to yourself, so that you can understand and remember what you are reading.  Silent reading is great because you can read at your own pace.  It is also great because you can make sure that you comprehend what you are reading.

3. Read the short story, Skeleton Hiccups , aloud with students.  Throughout the story stop to discuss the five W's with the class.  Explain to the students that by asking yourself these questions throughout the story you are remembering more of what you read.  During discussion ask the students questions such as; Who are the main characters?, What is happening that is important to remember?, When is the story taking place?, Where is the story taking place?, and Why did specific events have importance?.

4. Pass out a copy of Skeleton Hiccups to each student.  Instruct the students to read silently to themselves and answer the five W's on a sheet of paper while they are reading.

Assessment:  Collect the student's paper to see if they are comprehending what they are reading by seeing if they were able to right down the five W’s about the story. 


Catherine Kirsch “The 5 W’s of Reading