In this lesson, I emphasize the importance of being an active reader. I model for children how to interact with the text by asking questions or recognizing the questions that pop into your head as you are reading. Students continue to practice this strategy by engaging in a reading session where they have to actually write down the questions that form in their mind while reading.
To open this lesson, I tell students that I will be reading aloud to them from an informational text I selected from the student basil. Up to this point, we have been looking at literary text and need to shift our attention to non-fictional text. I use the hook and opening as a modeling session for the students to see the act of questioning while reading. I begin reading the story and as I read, I think out loud by saying questions that come to me while reading. I jot the questions down on sticky notes and place them on the board for future reference. After reading a section of the text and jotting down about 4 questions, I ask students to share with me what I did while I was reading? Students note that I was talking to my self while another student says I asked questions about things I didn't understand while I was reading. Other students took notice that I even jotted down a word that I pretended not to know the meaning of and wrote the question, "What does this word mean?" "Can anyone tell me why I asked questions while I read?" Most of the students responded that I did it because I didn't understand certain parts of the text. I go on to explain that this was true and that asking questions helps readers to better understand what the text is about. I remind students that we can use the questions about main idea and events from our interactive notebooks from the previous lesson "Using an Interactive Notebook While Reading". I explain to students that today we will focus on these questions to guide our reading.
To practice this strategy, I give each student a set of sticky notes. At least 4 per student. I tell students to choose two questions from main idea and two questions from events. These questions are on an anchor chart (see resources) from the previous lesson, but can also be found in students Interactive Notebooks. Students are told to write each question on a sticky note. I tell students that sometimes they are not able to write in the books so sticky notes come in handy. Sticky notes also allow you to organize the information you collect from reading. Students are divided into leveled reading groups and look at an informational text that is on their instructional reading level. During this time, I work with small guided reading groups. As I meet with each group, I divide my time with each group into three parts. the first 5 minutes we talk about the four questions I want students to think about while reading. I also tell students to look at any other questions that may pop into their head while reading. During their reading, I have students use the questions they've chosen drive their reading. I also encourage students to write down any other questions they have while reading. Students are asked to look for information while reading that will help them answer their guiding questions. After reading, students are asked to answer their guiding questions on their sticky notes. the difference in today's lesson than the others is I ask students to place their sticky note on the page and section where they were able to answer their questions. I encourage students to do this so that they can provide evidence for their answers. Once students are done, we discuss their answers and talk about how knowing this information help us better understand what they've read. I ask students to place their sticky notes on the parking lot in their Interactive Notebook. Students glued these in the notebook prior to reading their stories.
Afterwards, we came together as a class and talked about the feelings students had about writing down their questions. In the discussion, students stated that when they wrote down questions, they started to look for the answers to them as they read. They also felt like they were more focused on what they read because they were trying to make sure they paid attention to the questions while they were reading. I asked students if they felt asking questions would help them understand more as they read further in the text. Some students said yes, others said they only felt it would if they could answer the questions. We talked about using the questions to guide our reading from this point.