Asking Questions


Why is it important for students to ask questions while reading? Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels state, "Questioning is the strategy that propels learners on. If we didn't wonder about the text, why would we bother to continue reading? Human beings are driven to make sense of the world, and questions open the doors to understanding" (Comprehension and Collaboration, 2009). Readers must always be thinking or using meta-cognition while they read. It helps them comprehend important material and think about what other information they could learn about.

Comprehension is about Understanding:

Questioning is a major part of comprehension. Since "reading is thinking" and "comprehension is about understanding", students who ask questions and research those questions are able to become immersed in their learning (Comprehension and Collaboration, 2009). They will retain and comprehend more information that they research. So how do students use their questions to research? One way is through inquiry.

Ways to Question:

  • Make "I wonder..." statements

  • Question the ideas of an author

  • Question the information that an author states

  • Read with a question in mind

  • Use your questions to research

Questioning Strategy Useful Links:

Inquiry Projects:

Inquiry projects depend on students' curiosity. Students must be curious and want to learn more information. Tell them to think back to when they were younger and kept asking their parents, "WHY?" This is very similar, but instead of the parents giving them the answers, the students are the ones who find the answers to their questions.

Steps for Inquiry:

  1. Discuss what makes a good question.

  2. Have students gain background knowledge on a topic by reading a piece of text. While readings, students record their questions.

  3. Students examine their questions for a possible topic to research.

  4. They choose a topic.

  5. Students brainstorm questions that they could use to aid their research.

  6. Research begins!

  7. Students compile information and present their learning.

Benefits to Inquiry:

  • Student ownership over their learning

  • Students are motivated and intrigued to learn

  • Improving comprehension while researching

  • Practice synthesizing information to teach others about their learning

Worksheets/Information for Inquiry:

(Cheat Codes are used to track meta-cognition-VERY helpful for comprehension)