Sunday, 4 January 2015

Comprehension - Part #5. Questioning

Questioning involves students asking and answering questions about a text. I'm not talking about basic questions like "what colour was the house?". I'm talking about deeper questions like "I wonder why the character....".

To get students familiar with asking the deep questions, introduce the thinking stem "I wonder". This automatically lends itself to deeper questioning as it requires students to come up with a question where the answer is not immediately obvious.

When introducing this strategy with my year one class, I used the wordless text, Window by Jeannie Baker. Any wordless text would do, but I love Jeannie Baker books as there is always so much going on in every picture.

As we looked through each page, I gave students a post-it note and asked them to write down their "I wonder..." questions. I got responses such as;

"I wonder why the birds are flying away from the park"

"I wonder why the boy is playing inside and not outside"

We then shared our questions with the class, and used these questions to start a discussion and hopefully find an answer to them. For the question about the birds, one student suggested that the birds were flying away because trees were being chopped down to make room for the houses. Pretty awesome for a year 1 class right?

By providing students with a thinking stem, I helped scaffold their learning, as opposed to just telling them to come up with a question about the text.

Once we had this down, we moved on to other thinking stems that promote deep questions, such as

What would happen if?

Why would...

These stems work best with a rich text, simply use the same procedure as introducing the "I wonder..." questions.

After the introductory lesson/s implement deep questioning as part of your guided reading groups. These questions also link really well with any scientific investigation!

You can even set up an "I wonder..." wall in the classroom that can be used throughout the year.

I have a bunch of Comprehension resources in my store that are very useful for implementing the strategies in your classroom :)

Next up, Summarising!

No comments:

Post a Comment