"Setting A Purpose to Read" Asking Questions While Reading

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SWBAT read a text with the purpose of asking and answering questions.

Big Idea

Students will understand that setting a purpose to read builds deeper understanding of what was read.


10 minutes

As students walk through the door at the start of class, they reach in a box that I'm holding and take out a ticket. Each ticket has a number on it and students are instructed to sit at the table with that number. Students are asked to sit with their ticket face down on the table with the number facing up. I ask students not to read what's on the back of the ticket. Each student is given a purpose to read on their card. Students will read the same book, a book chosen at their instructional reading level. Each student is given a different task for the same text. This lesson is a twist on the Ticket Out The Door. Instead it is a Ticket In The Door. I adapted this lesson from a lesson called "Admit Slip" Janet Allen, Tools for Teaching Content Literacy. It is a lesson geared for high school students, but I felt it was a good way to bring emphasis to Setting a Purpose to Read. I modified the lesson so that it would meet the level of needs in my class. 

Students are asked to turn their cards over and look at their purpose to read. I call on several students to share their purpose so that I am sure they understand the task they've been given.

We talk about the building background knowledge we did in a previous lesson using making predictions and vocabulary and how it helped us better understand what we are reading. Next I remind students about the previous lesson where they set a purpose to figure out the central message or idea the author was trying to share. I tell students I want them to use the same approach from the previous lesson of thinking about their task on their card while reading.


Guided Practice

20 minutes

During this part of the lesson, students were given one of four purposes to read. The overall purpose of the lesson was for students to set a purpose to read and identify questions about specific elements of the plot. Here are the purposes that were set:

1. Read to identify questions you have about the characters in the story.

2. Read to identify questions you have about the problem in the story.

3. Read to identify questions you have about the story in general.

4. Read to identify questions you have about the events in the story.

Some groups worked on their own to complete the task while I worked with other groups that needed more assistance.

As students worked, I prompted them to read with the purpose and monitor what they are thinking while they were reading. 

I reminded students to make sure they were thinking about the task on their card while they read. 

As I worked with the groups that needed more scaffolding, I asked students to tell me what they were thinking as they were reading. I also ask students to talk through their reading to make sure they kept their purpose on recognizing the questions that come to mind while reading.


Follow Up

15 minutes

Now that students have read the story for the purpose of formulating questions, students were asked to list their questions on their activity sheet. We then engaged in a discussion about the questions students had. I asked students to discuss with their group members the questions they had and why they asked those questions. I circulated the room and talked with each group. To prompt students thoughts I asked them to think about how asking questions helped them better understand their reading. 


At the end of class students had to give me their ticket so I could look at their purpose and determine if they generated questions that will help them in tomorrows lesson as they will set a purpose to answer their questions. I also used some of the dialogue students were having and the answers to my questions to help me determine which way to go with the lesson tomorrow.