This lesson is the one of the first lessons I have taught about using the questioning strategy to improve comprehension. My students are able to ask lots of questions, but they tend to be literal and always start with 'wh'. Using questioning to improve comprehension is not a reading strategy that they often employ.
In this lesson, the students ask and answer to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text (RL.2.1), which supports the shift in Common Core Standards toward using text evidence to improve comprehension. They also look at the rhythm and rhyme of text (RL.2.4) that adds so much to the meaning of this text in particular.
I chose this book because the text is understandable, it is poetry, and the illustrations are wonderful. We have practiced asking questions and determining where to find the answers in a 2 previous lessons, including The Whys and Whens of Questioning and Big Questions About Informational Text. We're continuing that skill today and using evaluative questions.
**I'm attaching an alternative evaluative questions worksheet because I taught this lesson 2 years later on another informational topic - plants. This worksheet is more generic and has less writing. I'll actually use this one from now on, regardless of the topic.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Common starting point
Get students engaged
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - modeling
Review strategy - guided practice
Although rhyming and figurative language was not the focus of this lesson, I did mention how this kind of wording added a great tone and rhythm to the story. The Core Standards encourage students to use this kind of text to add meaning to what they read. (RL.2.4)
Share what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with limited language and vocabulary will need a partner or need to sit with the teacher during the writing portion of the activity. You could also prompt them with questions and vocabulary on their desk.
Students with more ability should be encouraged to write more in-depth questions. Encourage them to ask questions that have strong opinions and use higher level vocabulary.