Let’s Ask Some Questions!

Hey everyone! Lindsey here…

I wanted to share with you all the big task we are taking on this week…questioning. Phew…its a big concept that’s always hard for my kiddos. I’m not talking about simple questions, but questions that are in-depth. Questions that really get them thinking about the text. My team and I were just discussing at our planning meeting the other day some ways to effectively teach this strategy and I wanted to share with you how I do it:) Hopefully it is something that will be helpful!

Like I said, this is TRICKY! My kiddos are good with the simple questions, “Who is the main character?” “How did so and so solve their problem?” We’ve got those down pretty well. For some kiddos that might even be as far as they can go right now and that’s okay. But to raise the rigor, I’ve got to push them. Whenever I’m getting ready to teach a big strategy I always turn to my tried and true, most favorite teaching book…

I don’t know if you can tell…I use Reading with Meaning A LOT!! ALL the time! If you haven’t read this book you DO NOT know what you are missing! Click here to get it. Debbie Miller is AMAZING when it comes to getting kiddos to dig deeper in the text.

To start off our week we are going to use this anchor…

This is straight out of Reading with Meaning, page 136 to be exact. We use post-its to share the information we already know and will also use it to add new information we learn. I LOVE this style of anchor because the kiddos really take ownership of it.

We then move on to a rich text. My book of choice is How Many Days to America? by Eve Bunting, click here to get it. This is great for many reasons. First, the kiddos ALWAYS have questions. Second, it connects to Thanksgiving. Third, it gets them thinking about worldly issues, which always brings up more questions.

I model questioning while I read this to the class. I use post-its and place them right in the text. This also works for teaching them about annotating, which is something we do a little later on in the year. After I model asking questions, we categorize our questions by who, what, when, where, why and how. Usually, I have all those types of questions and this helps emphasize those key words. Next, we set about answering our questions by re-reading the text. This is done on day two. I also introduce this questioning web. It is also from Reading with Meaning, page 141.

I LOVE this web because it just has them focus on one question and allows them to use multiple strategies to answer their question. It also allows them to record their answer. Debbie Miller has done a great job with the web because it really forces them to think in-depthly about ONE question instead of rushing into multiple questions. We will move on to multiple questions BUT when we are just starting out I really want them to come up with one in-depth question and answer.

These tasks alone will take us the whole week. I will continue to model with other books that are all Thanksgiving focused, HELLO CONNECTIONS:)

We are also going to be working on this in groups. I have pulled some of my differentiated lessons from Margo Southall’s Differentiated Small Group Lessons book, click here to get a copy.

Along with those activities, I will also be using some of our reading passage sets for groups which you can get by clicking on the pictures.


How do you teach questioning? Do you have any tried and true methods that really work for your kiddos? We would love to hear in the comments below:)

Have a great week!!!

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