Monday, October 6, 2014

Reading strategy series # 3

From the Making Meaning Manual:
Proficient readers wonder and ask questions to focus their reading, clarify meaning, and delve deeper into text.  They wonder what a text is about before they read, speculate about what is happening while they read, and ask questions after they read to gauge their understanding."

Here are questions you can ask your young readers to help them develop this reading strategy:
  • What do you think this story is going to be about based on just the cover, just the title, or one image in the story?
  • What are you asking yourself after hearing this part? (note: this is a skill that needs to be modeled)
  • What do you think about what just happened in the story?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • What would you like to know more about?
  • What questions do you have after reading this story?
  • What would you like to ask the writer? what would you like to ask the illustrator/photographer?
Now let's be practical.  How does this work with a book like: Goldilocks and the Three Bears (just to keep using the same one)?

Read the story and ask: Showing the cover only, what do you think this book is going to be about? What do you think the girl is going to do, what will the bears do? Can the bears and a girl be friends? What do you think about the girl trying the porridge? What would you ask Goldilocks? What would you ask the bears? What else would you like to know about bears? About the forest? About porridge? About the chairs?  You would also have to do some modeling for your kids to allow them to wonder.  I would say something like: I wonder if the baby bear chair was old and that is why it broke? I wonder if Goldilocks' mother is worry about her? I wonder what the bears are seeing in their walk in the woods? I wonder what bears really like to eat? I wonder what I would do if I were to find a bear's house or a cave?...etc

Note that in wondering/questioning there are no right or wrong questions and/or answers.  Anything is up for grabs! Our brain wonders as it makes connections to what we already know.  We also try to build connections by asking questions and gathering additional information.  Wondering is a pathway to build more knowledge and explore the world around us.  When your kids go on and on asking you why this and why that, it is the best time to introduce, develop and reinforce this strategy!

Wondering/questioning can be used with all kinds of texts; but it is particularly useful when reading non-fiction.  It helps stimulate curiosity and shows what the child really finds fascinating, and inspiring. Wondering/questioning can turn any book into the first step on the road to a discovery.  It is your chance to find out what your child is passionate or interested about!

At the moment big sister is really curious about dolphins.  In a recent trip to the bookstore she pick the book Hope for Winter.  The True Story of a Remarkable Dolphin Friendship by David Yates and the Hatkoffs (Juliana, Isabella, and Craig).

Imagine the amount of questions/wondering we got from both kids! Here are some examples: what is a prosthetic? How did the fisherman find the dolphins? How are Dolphins taken care off? Do they really kiss?  Is this story true? How did Panama died? I wonder if people swim with Winter? Why do the dolphin need to be in the water? Why do they swim fast when they are sick? where can you buy the milk they put in the bottle? What does the squirt toy the dolphin likes look like? I wonder if they can get married? ...etc

Embrace the opportunity to deepen your child's knowledge, and figure out their interests.  And, above all, let the questions flow!

Next week: Visualizing

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Thank you for sharing!