Questioning Part 1

Why do we ask questions and how does asking questions help us become better readers?

We ask questions before, during, and after a story because it keeps our mind alert. Questioning helps our brain stay on task and think about what we know as well as what we want to know. It deepens our understanding of literature which helps us become better readers.

Make a chart for the class brainstorming why readers ask questions. The following are examples Miller shares:
·         to clarify meaning
·         to speculate about text yet to be read
·         to determine an author’s style, intent, content, or format
·         to focus attention on specific components of the text, and
·         to locate a specific answer in the text or consider rhetorical questions   inspired in the text

The next step would be to discuss how and when to ask questions. Modeling this activity for the class is best and gives students an opportunity to first see how questioning is done correctly. Making a chart of questions is helpful and easy to refer to for before, during, and after questions. Start out by generating questions on your own and slowly allow students to join in once they learn what is expected of them. Do this for each area of questioning by starting out looking at the cover and developing a few questions. Begin reading the story and add questions to the chart every few pages. Be sure to stop and write them on the chart while noting to students that this is the second place readers ask questions. When you finish reading the book, generate a few more questions and add them to the chart as well. Talk about the importance of questioning throughout the book in addition to the questions they think of before and after reading. As Miller suggests, teachers also need to allow students to take responsibility for this skill over time. A gradual release of responsibility after lots of practice will help students become strong questioners on their own.