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Read Naturally Strategy programs: Ideas for Questions step

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A TEACHER'S STRATEGY FOR TEACHING THE COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

Susan Shallenberger [Templeton, CA]   
Susan Shallenberger suggests that, for each type of comprehension question in the Sequenced series, you can give students a list of hints to keep in mind while they work.

  • For the main idea question (question 1), remind students that the main idea of the story is not just one fact from the story but what the story is mostly about.
  • For fact questions (questions 2 and 7), tell students that they should always refer back to the text for verification.
  • For vocabulary questions (questions 3 and 6), tell the students that they should use the sentences surrounding the vocabulary word, as well as the sentence the word itself is in, to help decipher the word's meaning. 
  • For the inference questions (questions 4 and 8), tell students to look for clues in the story. Teach them that for inference, the author is "showing without telling." 
  • Finally, for written responses (questions 5 and 9), tell students to always write sentences that can stand on their own. Teach them that when someone reads their written response, they should be able to decipher what the question asked without reading it.

Angela Walker Foster [Anderson County Schools, Lawrenceburg, KY]
Angela Walker Foster has provided a great instructional strategy for teaching five types of comprehension questions used in Read Naturally Sequenced series: main idea, literal/detail, vocabulary, inferential, and short answer, and we’re pleased to share her strategy with you. 
pointer Printable document: A Teacher's Strategy for Teaching the Comprehension Questions

 

IMPROVING QUESTION ANSWERING SKILLS

From Richard Radke [Strathmore, CA]
To improve accuracy, ask students to read the question and answer choices at least twice before they select an answer. Some students tend to choose the first answer that looks good. Go through the answer choices with the student and eliminate answers until the student finds the best answer. Only then should the student select or write the answer.

Anonymous [Minneapolis, MN]
Ask students to check their answers to the short-answer questions by reading the question and answer aloud. Students usually catch a mistake when they read their answers aloud.

 

CHALLENGING MAINSTREAM STUDENTS WITH ANALYTICAL QUESTIONS

Elaine Balum [Danille, PA]
Read Naturally levels 5.6 through 8.0 can be beneficial even to mainstream students without fluency problems. Focus on comprehension questions 8 and 9, which require students to analyze the information in the story and find facts that support a concluding statement. Answering these questions challenges the students while helping them develop skills needed to pass state exams, such as the Pennsylvania Statewide Student Assessment (PSSA) test.

 

MARKING THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS IN THE STORY IN READ NATURALLY ENCORE

These ideas could be adapted for Read Naturally Live by printing the story.

From Gail Orcutt [Iowa]
Ask students to underline information in the story that answers each of the comprehension questions. This process helps students learn that the answers can be found in the text.

From Jill Bennett [Albany, TX]
Have the students read the questions and circle clue words before reading the story. After they read the story, students tell the main idea and list three supporting details, a process similar to the retell step.

 

MOTIVATING STUDENTS

From Jenifer Garlitz [Joliet, IL]
If a student gets all of the questions right the first time, put a sticker that says "Wow!" or "Bravo!" on the student’s answer sheet or on a Read Naturally folder. This helps students focus on accuracy when they answer the comprehension questions.

In Encore, if the student does not achieve 100%, put a question mark next to each incorrect answer. When the students answers all the questions correctly, cover the mark with a sticker.

See also: Frequently asked questions
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