Asking Questions

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To effectively answer comprehension questions it helps to understand how questions are constructed. Asking questions also stimulates curiosity and is important for clarifying understanding.

Here are some suggestions for using this as a teaching strategy:

I Wonder Book

  • Give each student a ‘Wonder Notebook’.
  • Provide opportunities for students to note down questions that reflects their curiosity.
  • Begin by modelling the process.

Growth Table

  • Divide a page into two columns.
  • In the left column students record facts found in a text (e.g, Frogs are amphibians).
  • In the right column students ask a question requiring further information (e.g, What other creatures are amphibians?).

Read with Questions in Mind

  • Divide a page into two columns.
  • Students look at the title, illustrations, contents page, heading and sub-headings, graphs, etc.
  • Based on the initial look at the book, students write questions in the left column.
  • As students read the book, they write the answer to the questions in the right column.

Question Words

  • Students write the following words down the page with a several line gap between each word: Where, When, Which, Why, What, Who and How.
  • As students read the text, they write a question so that by the end of the text they have a question beginning with each of the listed seven words.

Question Mindmaps

  • Students work in pairs or groups of three.
  • They begin by writing an open-ended question in the middle (e.g., Why are …… becoming extinct?)
  • From this middle questions, they develop sub-questions (e.g., What do they eat? Where do they live?).
  • Further questions can be generated from each of these sub-questions.
  • As students research the answers they will often find that more questions are generated.

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