Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Asking and Answering Questions

Last week I shared a few books in the Freckleface Strawberry series that invited conversation understanding towards friendship in the primary grades.  These stories also fit nicely into a unit we are working on about thinking as we read.  I am using my favorite picture book characters (and the series they are often part of) to help my kids begin to see that readers are thinkers.  I often begin with questions that primary kids students think  about when they read about characters they love:
Why did you choose to read about the character?
Who is the character?
Where is the character?
What are you thinking about the character?
What have you learned about the character?

I invite them to think about these as we read and reread characters like:

We practice this work and then kids begin to choose one character they want to learn more deeply about.  Partners chat about these questions, students share their thoughts and kids begin to have many new characters they want to read about next.

Now we are to a place where kids have strengthened their thinking in read aloud. They are ready to dig deeper into specific comprehension strategies.  Questioning has happened quite naturally so we are digging deeper into thinking about questions we have before we read. Just last week, Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever and three questions were asked before we started. I jotted them on post its and then came back to answer them the next day. With this work, kids are beginning to ask, write and answer their own simple questions in the books they read.

Our next step is to sort out which questions are helping us understand the characters and story more deeply.

No comments: