Curious Questioners


Learning to Read Lesson Design

Alyson Cason


Rationale: The main goal in reading is reading comprehension and the goal of this lesson is to teach students to generate questions while they are reading.  This will help students be able to better understand what is going on in the story that they are reading at the time because they are asking questions to themselves about the text. The objective in this lesson is to not just ask students questions about the reading, but to eventually have the students, the reader, generate questions within themselves to better grasp the content of the story.



-         Shark Attack! Article (class set)

-         Pencils (class set)

-         Paper (enough for entire class)

-         Highlighters (class set)

-         Clipboards (class set)




 1)   Explain the activity

Say: Today we are going to learn how to ask questions about the text that we are reading.  This will help us grasp a better understanding on the stories we read. 

 2)   Review:

Say: I want us to review the vocabulary word: species. Remember that this word means many different types of one animal. For example, “There are 368 species of sharks.” A non-example would be “There are 368 types of species in the ocean including sharks."  Answer this, “How many species are there of humans?” I want your thought.  "How many species of insects do you believe there are? and why do you think this?"

 3)   Explanation

Say: Last time, we went over how to read faster and more smoothly.  That was called reading with fluency.  Fluency and generating questions as you read the text go together because they both have the overall goal of reading comprehension. In order for us to be successful in asking questions about the text, we must have an idea about what we’re reading.  For example, today we will be reading an article about sharks.  Automatically I can begin to ask myself, “What do I already know about sharks?”

 4)   Model

Say: Once we jump into the story, we are automatically trying to understand what we are reading.  For example, as I begin to read the first paragraph and I come to the sentence, “It’s true that great whites are responsible for most attacks, but because of overhaunting they’re rare in some parts of the world.” I begin to question to myself, “If great white sharks are responsible for mostof the attacks in parts of the world, will we find out what parts of the world this occurs?” As we go about the reading, we want to continue to ask questions about the text!


 5)   Simple practice:

Say: I want you to all turn to the smartboard.  I want us to read this next excerpt together and then each of us will write down a question that we are thinking about the text and some will share. “There are about 368 different species of sharks that live all over the world.  They range in size from a person’s hand, to bigger than a bus.” Alright, now everyone should have a question about the text we just read; write one down and a few of us will share. For example, I am going to write: How large is a bus? so that I can get a better understanding of how large a shark may be.


6) Whole texts:

Say: Now it is your turn. I want you all to come and get an article and read it while asking yourself questions.  Write down these questions as you read about the text, for it will help you understand what you are reading.

7)  Assessment:

My assessment here will be a checklist.  I will walk around the class as they read and check off whether or not they have understood how to ask questions about the text. I will tell this, by reading a few of their questions that they have generated.


________ Do they have at least a couple of questions written down on their paper?


_______ Do the questions have anything to do about the story?


_______Did they ask questions about what they were reading in the story?



 Kidszone article:



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