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!

  8. Asking relevant questions make the lecture more creative. Students should the questions which they might have in their minds for clarification.