Asking questions while reading is such an important skill for students to learn. There are many activities to help students practice questioning, but I find the best way is to through reading and modeling.
“Thinking is not driven by answers but by questions.” (Paul & Elder 2000)
When teaching students to ask questions while reading, we are asking students to perform “check ins” with their learning. They are staying engaged with the text and constantly thinking about what they’ve read.
When teaching questioning, I explain to my students that there are three times in which we may ask ourselves questions about what we are reading. We do this before, during, and after. Before we read a book, we may look at the title and cover and generate questions we hope will be answered. During reading, we may have clarifying questions about information we’ve learned. After reading, we may be left with even more questions that weren’t answered in our book.
To help us practice this skill, I created 6 different comprehension passages (3 fiction and 3 nonfiction) that naturally elicit questions while reading. When using these passages I have students brainstorm questions when looking at the title and cover page. Again, after reading the first 2 pages of the story. And more one more time after we read the entire story.
In this freebie, I also chose to include a questioning reference chart with some example question stems as well as a recording sheet for students to use when reading.
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If you’re looking for some fun ways to have students generate questions, I shared 3 activities here:
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