In this lesson, students explore how to become better readers through questioning before, during and after reading stories. First, a teacher reads aloud the title of the book, and does a "picture walk" of the book with the students. Throughout the story the teacher asks the students to predict what will happen, to connect their personal experiences to the story, and to express their opinions. Students are asked whether the story makes them think of anything that has happened to them. Finally, they extend their understanding through an online interactive activity.
- Students will practice questioning techniques to increase reading comprehension, including using picture clues, prediction, cause and effect, and sequencing strategies.
- Students will restate the questioning strategy.
- Students will explain how the questioning strategy influences their reading.
Grade Level: K-5
Blue Ribbon Readers: The Questioning Cube Game Interactive
- Teacher-selected children's books
- Question Cube (any size cube with the words, "what, when, why, who, where, and how" written on the faces)
- Online Interactive Activity “The Questioning Cube" Game
PART I: Introducing the Strategy
- Introduction: Read the title of the book to the students, and do a "picture walk". A "picture walk" introduces prediction strategies and helps with incorporating prior knowledge and vocabulary.
- Before reading: Ask students what they think the story will be about. What personal experience do they have to connect to the story?
- During reading: Ask the students if they were right. What did they find out so far? What do they think will happen next?
- After reading: Ask the students if they liked how the story ended? Would they have done the same thing the character did? What was their favorite part of the story? Did the story make them think of anything that happened to them?
PART II: Review and Practice
Repeat what you did in part one, but now add the question cube. After reading the story, sit in a circle on the floor with the children. Show the children the question cube. Talk about the words on the question cube and explain that questions can begin with those words. Model asking a question about the story such as the following:
- Who (Who is the main character?)
- Where (Where does the story take place?)
- Why (Why does _____________ happen?) – Use cause and effect.
- What (What happens after______?) - sequencing
- How (How would you summarize the story?) - main idea
- When (When does _____happen?) - beginning, middle, end.
Roll the cube and ask the children to raise their hands if they know an answer. Chose a child to answer. If the child answers correctly, toss him/her the cube, and the child rolls the cube and asks a question beginning with the word that ends face up on the cube (If children have trouble coming up with questions, the teacher can assist). Continue, giving everyone a chance to participate.
PART III: Incorporating the Online Activity/Checking for Understanding
In centers or independently, practice these skills with the online "Questioning Cube" Game.
Older children can independently write questions and answers about their stories, and then discuss with the class or hand them in for the teacher to assess their application of the strategy.