Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaching Questioning as a Comprehension Strategy

Teaching the questioning strategy for comprehension is always a tricky one. This year, I came up with a little game to motivate my students to use this strategy.

First, I introduced the strategy with this anchor chart (minus the sticky notes):

(that's supposed to be a track on the question mark...)

I modeled the strategy with "think alouds" as I read a story. After modeling the types of questions you could ask while reading (and how this helped my comprehension), I introduced the game. I called it Guess my Question. This got my more competitive kids paying attention! I read a book aloud, then stopped at certain places and said, "Guess my question." I would call on kids until they came up with a question that would make sense for that part in the story. This game got kids to really think about potential questions to ask while reading.

I made this for my students to record questions they had while reading.

click on the picture to download (3 choices of borders included by fancydogstudios 3am teacher and kpm doodles)

I chose the speech bubbles because they matched my sticky notes on my anchor chart.

You could use this as an independent activity for students, or you could use a more guided approach by using this with another read aloud. You could stop at places in the story, and have students write a possible question for that part (similar to the game, "Guess my Question"). This could also be used as an assessment to see how well your students are grasping this strategy.

I used this with my guided reading groups today. We read a book from readinga-z called The Cinnamon Bun Mystery. I stopped them occasionally and we brainstormed possible questions we may have. I encouraged them to find the answers to the questions we asked by reading on. For example, there is a place in the story where the main character gets to the bakery and a lady had just bought all of the cinnamon buns. Possible questions we came up with were: why would she buy all of them? who bought all of them? I wonder if she's going to eat all of them herself? After reading on, we found the answer to all of those questions. I reminded students that by questioning we kept our comprehension on track!


  1. What a super idea to teach the skill of questioning!

    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  2. I think this would be great for my students to work on questioning skills! Thanks for sharing!

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. I'll put this in my "to-do" for next year since we're already out for this year. Thanks for the great idea!

    I'm your newest follower. So glad I found you. I look forward to reading more!


    2nd Grade Pad

  4. Will have to stash this away for next year's Questioning Unit! Thanks for the great idea.
    I am your newest follower, too.

  5. Love this activity! And love your blog! I just found it and started following! :)

    The First Grade Splash

  6. Love this! I'm so glad I found your blog. I just started following you. When you have a minute stop by mine.
    Stories by Storie

  7. I just went to your Pinterest. I honestly think you have the best Pinterest I have ever seen. I'm pretty much following all your pins. Thanks for all the great ideas!