Name of Strategy: Key Questions


  • Rationale:
• Often I have struggling readers in my classroom. They struggle with the social studies material because they don’t ask themselves questions. Key questions is a strategy I can teach them to help them better understand any text I put in front of them.

  • Courses in which it could be implemented:
• Social Studies—when reading about any historical event or communities, key questions would be a good strategy to use to help the kids better understand. A foldable could also be used with this strategy to make more engaging for students—especially the kinesthetic learners.
• Science—when learning about different jobs in science
• Reading—when students read any picture book story or informational book, for book talks

  • Diverse learners:
• Many younger readers or struggling readers don’t think to ask questions as they are reading a text. Instead they are busy decoding the words or simply reading to get the assignment done. When they are asked to do an assignment with the reading, they don’t do well because they don’t understand what was happening in the text. Teaching students to ask these 5 key questions will help them to comprehend the text.
  • Procedure:
• In a social studies lesson on the Underground Railroad
1. Give students a copy of the text,
2. Preview the text.
3. Read the text aloud while students follow along.
4. Pair students together (pull name sticks). Have students read the text with their partner and answer Who? What? Why? When? Where? and How? for the text. Write questions and answers on the graphic organizer.
5. Share in guided reading groups.

  • Potential Issues:
• Some students may feel intimidated by the text which is why I read aloud. However, some may still be intimidated. In order to alleviate some of their anxiety, students could be assigned to read only a section and do Key Questions with the section only.

  • Reference
Stephens, E. & Brown, J. (2005). A Handbook of Content Literacy Strategies: 125 Practical Reading and Writing Ideas. Norwood: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.