Lesson: Asking Questions to Monitor Comprehension

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Lesson Objective

Readers think about a book before they start reading and ask themselves questions about the book to get their mind ready to read.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): I know we have been doing a lot of reading in the past couple days.  Remember that reading is thinking.  When I am reading I make pictures in my mind, I’m thinking about the characters and building the story, I’m constantly thinking.  Today, I am going to show you how I think about a book before I even start to read and how some of my questions help me understand the book.  We know that before we read we can do things like look at the cover and think about the title to help us get our minds ready to read.  We can also stop after we read and think about questions we have.  Today I will teach how I think of questions I have about a book before I start to read. 

Model (10-15 mins): I selected a book from the library to read to you today.  My first question when I look at this book is about the title.  Why is it called Back of the Bus?  Then I think about what “back of the bus” used to mean and remember about a long time ago when black people had to sit in the back of the bus.  I wonder if this book is about sitting at the back of the bus. 

Another question I have is, “Why does a book called Back of the Bus have a little boy with a marble in his hand on the cover?”.  I think he must be important to the story but I wonder about the marble.  I’m not sure how that will affect the story.

Then I turn to the back of the book and I think about if the number of the bus, 2857 is important.  Did you notice how I already had so many questions before even opening the book to the first page.  Now you try!

Turn and talk to a partner.  Tell your partner one question you have about the book.  Be sure to explain why you have that question.  Students share out responses.

Active Engagement/Exit Slip (10-15 mins) : It’s your turn to try.  Students return to their seats.  They should have a bin of book at their tables.  While at their seats students should select a book from a bin and write down questions they have about the book.  I usually have students write their questions on post it notes and collect them at the end of the lesson to determine what students mastered the skill and which students need to review.

Reflection: Asking questions is such an important skill.  This is a great foundation for later lessons when students must reread to find answers to their questions.  If a teacher wanted a clearer assessment she could select one book for students to ask questions about rather than referring to the student post it notes about their own independent reading books.

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