Teaching Questioning Techniques for Reading Comprehension Video

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  • 0:04 Why Questioning?
  • 1:00 Pre-Reading Questioning
  • 1:54 During-Reading Questioning
  • 2:53 After-Reading Questioning
  • 3:59 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Students who know how to ask good questions can quickly grow their own comprehension abilities. In this lesson, you'll learn some techniques for teaching students how to ask questions that boost their own comprehension.

Why Questioning?

Ms. Ready is a veteran fifth-grade teacher who prides herself on helping her students become more sophisticated and self-extending when it comes to reading comprehension, or the aspect of reading that deals with understanding text on a literal as well as an abstract level. When challenged to articulate the strategies that she believes helps her students the most, Ms. Ready does not hesitate to name questioning, or interrogating the reader's self, the text, and the context as a way of deepening reading comprehension.

However, Ms. Ready has found over the years that questioning does not necessarily come naturally to student readers, many of whom are more interested in finishing work quickly than stopping to think about it. Therefore, she devotes a significant amount of time each year to teaching her students questioning techniques. She explains to them that questioning is important because it helps activate prior knowledge, assists with self-monitoring for comprehension, and allows for deeper connections with authors and books.

Pre-Reading Questioning

One time that Ms. Ready focuses on teaching her students to ask questions is actually before they begin to read. She finds that telling her students to approach reading with open, questioning minds really sets them up for success when it comes to tackling and assimilating new material.

Pre-reading questions tend to be oriented toward activating prior knowledge, but they might also be posed in ways that help students consider what they genuinely hope to get out of a particular text and what their goals as readers are. To teach her students to ask pre-reading questions, Ms. Ready uses the following techniques:

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