Saturday, July 17, 2010

Getting them Actively Involved by Questioning

My kids love to question. Ben especially. Why? How? Who? When? What If? And on and on...

Some of the questions have answers, some of them do not. Some of them have answers but I don't know them, and some can actually be proven and supported by evidence.

Kids forget to question before, during, and after they read. That is an extra step that is usually overlooked.

Questioning is an essential part of comprehension -- it involves predicting, confirming, wondering, synthesizing...

Here's what you can do to cultivate that. Have them ask a question before they read. It can be direct and concrete like: What is the name of the character's pet? or it can be more vague: Why did the character choose that action?

Then, as they read, see if their question is answered. If it is, ask them to show you exactly what paragraph/sentences/pages where they got their answers. TEACHERS LOVE IT WHEN KIDS PROVE THEIR ANSWERS WITH TEXT!!!! Then come up with another question.

Teach them these stems: I wonder...I was confused by...

Finishing those will always lead to questions.

And along the way, have them question...I have them write their questions on post its so they don't forget.

Finally, after they are done, have them question again. It may be they have the same one from the beginning and it isn't answered. Or maybe the reading took a turn and they have a completely different perspective and therefore a new question. Or maybe now they have a larger question.

Trust me. It will get them more active in their reading, and motivated to find answers.

You can do it with both fiction and nonfiction!

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