Monday, March 6, 2017

Generative Questions

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Our students need the skill of generating thoughtful questions. The ability to routinely generate mental questions while reading, listening, or viewing something not only boosts attention and alertness but also strengthens comprehension (Duke & Pearson, 2002). We want them to be critical thinkers!
What can we do to help students develop the practice of questioning while reading or listening? One way is to use generative questions (handout). Generative questions are questions asked by the student to deepen meaning and comprehension as they read. Use these questions interactively with any text read with students. Provide instruction in how to pose these questions while reading to develop understandings and deepen comprehension. Create an anchor chart with students so they can refer to questions on their own as they learn to ask these of themselves. The goal should be that students routinely and independently ask questions like these of themselves.

Generative Questions
Generative Questions are questions students can ask THEMSELVES to develop meaning and deepen comprehension as they read any text.
What do we know so far? How do you know?
What else? …What else?
Let’s reread.
What are you seeing? How did you figure that out? What words or phrases did the author use to help you paint that picture in your mind?
What does the author want you to think? How did s/he accomplish that?
Who is the author writing for…who is the audience?
What is the tone? How do you know? How should our voices reflect that?
What is the author trying to do here? What words or phrases did the author choose to show that?
What does the author want you to feel? How did s/he accomplish that?
What DON’T we know? What questions do you have?
What words did you have to puzzle through mentally to figure out possible meanings?

Jennifer Young, 2012

Clemson University's Reading Recovery website has more information on questioning. Check out Introduction to Answering Questions! 


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