By 4th grade, students have asked a lot of questions and have been asked questions about the text that is being read. They may have even learned that questioning is a strategy to use while reading. This lesson reinforces the strategy and teaches them to focus on when the questions are answered so they are aware of new learning.
This lesson is introduced by reminding students about the strategy of questioning. When readers read, they wonder about what is going to happen, what new words mean, and listen to their brain when they don't understand something they have read. As I read to the students, I ask them to pay attention to the questions I have and how I notice if a question has been answered or not.
I show them the book and read the title. It doesn't matter what book I choose, as long as it is a nonfiction text. The more engaging the text the better. I try to make sure there is an interesting title or subtitles in the table of contents. I tell the students that I already have a question as soon as I read the title/subtitle and show they where I write it down.
You can have students write it down in a journal as I do or on a sticky note or if you are going to collect them and return them, they can write it down on a separate piece of paper.
I ask them to share with their partner or table group any questions they have just by looking at the title or subtitles. This can be the first question on their list.
As I read on, I discover the answer to my question and write down the answer next to or under the question I already wrote down. If students are using a post it note, they can write it down on the sticky note and mark it with an A.
After I've introduced the lesson and offered a few questions to the class, I continue reading the text out loud. I ask the students to listen for questions they have as I read and to jot them down. In order to make sure they have time to write down their questions, I stop often to give them a chance to finish writing them.
I also know that some students are more skilled at noticing their questions and putting them into words. Therefore, I also give students a moment to share with other students what questions they. Students may have had the same question but didn't know how to put it into words. Sharing with a partner helps them.
I write a few questions down as well and ask students to help me notice when I have answered questions. When I give them a moment to write down a question of their own, I ask them to also look back at their previous questions to see if they have been able to answer any of them. If they have, they can write an A or write the answer next to the question.
After students have had an opportunity to read and document questions and answers while discussing it with a classmate or their groups, I ask them to do it independently.
Students read a nonfiction book of their chose, write the title, and begin writing down questions and answers as they are reading.
After 15 - 20 minutes of independent reading, students meet with their partners to share what questions they had and they answers they found.
I lead the share by asking students to not only share the questions and answers but also how they answered their questions. Sometimes, during the share, they realize they actually learned more than they thought or they realize that discovered more answers they they didn't write down. Sharing with a partner hold them accountable because they have to explain their thinking and understanding.