Trading Spaces Tuesday: Asking and Answering Questions

Dec 17, 2013

So excited to be part of the first "Trading Spaces Tuesday."  I was a guest blogger at Reading Toward the Stars today.  And Shanon is our guest blogger!! Thank you so much for joining us at Curious Firsties today, Shanon!  We are so excited to have you :)

 Hi Everyone, I'm Shanon Bourne from the blog A Day In The Life Of A Title I Teacher. I'm so excited to be guest blogging here at Curious Firsties today! Here's a little about myself that you may not have known. I'm a second year teacher who has only ever taught Title I reading. When I was hired my school didn't have a Title I program in place and it was my job to completely create the framework for our program. After a full year of having the program running it has come a very long way and I am proud to call it my baby! I spend a lot of time researching different skills, strategies, and programs that can be used within my program. I teach grades 1st-5th and have approximately 60 students total. Our small group times average about 25-30 minutes 4-5 days a week. It's crazy how fast our time goes but I've learned how to make the most of every minute to focus on our skill(s) for the day/week.

Well, I'm sure you've had enough of learning about me and that you're ready to get on to learning about a reading skill. This week I've been working on the Common Core ELA Literacy Standard RL.1: Asking and Answering Questions. This standard is used in 1st grade - 3rd grade.

My kiddos have a hard time with asking questions that relate to a text and they have an even harder time of answering questions using details from a text. To start each lesson I introduce my students to our handy little questioning poster! I tell them that good readers always have questions about a text before they read it, while they read it, and even after they finish reading it. 

Next, I like to model how good readers ask questions before reading by showing my students the cover of a picture book and asking a few questions aloud:

  • who is the author?
  • why did the author write this?
  • is the information or fictional?
  • I wonder what ____ means?
  • I wonder who/what ___ is? 
  • Where does this story take place? 
Based on the cover art I will ask questions like:

  • I wonder why the boy is sad? 
  • I wonder who the girl is?
  • What is the boy looking at? 
  • What type of animal is this? 
There are so many questions that you ask based just off the cover of a book! After asking 2 or 3 questions I'll pick 1 or 2 students to ask a question they have based on the information from the cover of the book and I'll write these questions on our poster. 

Now I begin reading the book. Before I do each lesson I always pre-read my book and mark "stopping spots" with sticky notes. I like to keep all of my questions organized for the next year by creating spiral books for each book. 

I copy the cover of the book onto card-stock and then bind 3 or 4 extra pages of card-stock behind it. 

On each sticky note I record the questions that I have while reading. As I read the book I am able to model to my students how I stop, think about my questions, and record my questions on a post it note. I'll pick a few of my questions to place on our poster. As we continue reading the book I'll stop and pick a student to tell me a question they have and we will record it on our chart. 

After we have finished reading I go through the steps of how to ask a question after reading a book. I always tell my students that there are questions you should still have after reading: what do you still want to know, what don't you understand, etc. and they recorded as many questions as they have in the interactive notebooks. Again, I allowed them to place a question on the chart. 

By the end of our lesson our chart looks something like this

When our lesson is over I send the students back to their desks and allow them to practice asking questions before, during and after reading. I'll pass out a few sticky notes and have them record their questions on a sticky note and stick it inside their book. After they have finished their book they will take the sticky notes out and place them in their interactive journals to keep for our next lesson where we will discuss how to answer questions using details from the text. They will use their questions and see if they can find answers after they finished reading the book. If they are unable to find the answer we discuss other ways that they might be able to find answers to their questions: dictionary, internet, encyclopedia, etc. 

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about how I introduce the standard CCSS.ELA.RL.1 to my students. As a thank you here is a graphic organizer you can use with your students to record their questions while reading. Just click the picture to be directed to my TPT store where you can get your free download! 


Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin to learn more about other reading strategies and activities that I do in my room! You can follow me by clicking the image below. 


  1. Love the sticky note idea and the kids could put them on the graphic organizer freebie in your store. Thanks so much! :-) Lauren

    1. I'm so happy that you liked it! We use sticky notes on a lot of our graphic organizers so that we can reuse them throughout the year =D

  2. Love using sticky notes, and so do kids! I love the chart and how interactive it is for the kids. Really makes them think about asking questions! Thanks for the fun post and great freebie!

    Reading Toward the Stars


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