Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Teaching The Parts of a Question

Hi there! I’m Jenny from Luckeyfrog’s Lilypad. I teach 4th grade science (and a little social studies) in Ohio, but before this I’ve taught 2nd, 3rd, and as a reading specialist doing intervention with struggling readers.

I have some kids who really struggle with finding information in text- and even though I teach science now, this is a big, important skill!

I start with teaching my kids how to analyze a question. It’s the first step!

understand question

I use my Text Detectives- Find the Text Evidence products in class all the time because so many relate to science and social studies content, and my kids love getting the chance to color the information!


These pages are perfect for teaching my kids to break down a question and really understand what it’s asking!


I know- it seems way too easy to even mention, but if a kid doesn’t know that “who” means they will be looking for a person or character… it’s gonna be tough to find the right information.

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a kid miss a question because they answered “when” instead of “why,” or something similar! As kids get older, academic vocabulary like “analyze” or “compare” are important to understanding what the question is really asking.


I can’t stress this enough. Kids can’t just break down the question without reading the whole thing.

That said… one of the other teachers on my team likes to have kids do this as step 1, but I like to have kids check out the question word first. Sometimes reading the rest of the words can make it a little overwhelming!


For your struggling readers, this is going to be one of the most important steps. What sorts of vocabulary words clue them in to where they might find this?

Of course, we never want a kid to just skim for key words- but at the same time, if they read the word “born”- they need to know that the question is about someone’s birth, and that in a biography, it may be near the beginning. Knowing if there’s a specific topic gives readers a way to narrow down where to look. Once they find the paragraph or section, you can work with kids on how to ensure they’re finding the right information- but by this time, they are much more ready for that step!

refer to text graphic

You can read more about how I teach my students to find text evidence at Luckeyfrog’s Lilypad… and you can try out a freebie of my Text Detectives series in my TpT store!

Thanks for reading!


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