Monday, April 11, 2011

Helping Kids Understand Questions

Sometimes children have a hard time understanding what is a question and what is a statement.  I know that as teachers, we often hear, "I have a question." When truly it is just a statement or in the case of some of my kiddos an entire story.

At our school, we use Systematic ELD.  One of the functions for beginning and early intermediate learners is to ask and answer questions.  To help them, our first grade team created this song to help build background knowledge.  

The unit focuses on the 5 Ws but the song can be altered to any question words.  As a class, we generate a list of question words.  To help, I use the word wall and use the word in a sentence.  I let students know that if they can answer me back it is a question.  I teach students who have receptive language in English but need help with expressive language so this task is not as easy as it may seem.  With lots of practice, students begin to understand and use the language appropriately.

I also like to take a garden glove and attach velcro to each finger.  I make and laminate little cards with the questions written on them.  We practice together using the words as questions.  For students, we ask our nurse or purchase latex gloves (check for allergies first)  and write question words with a Sharpie.  The students practice with one another using their words in questions.  It is always a big hit.  

Other ideas for asking questions include playing 20 Questions or making an art craft where you intentionally leave out needed items so that students have to ask you for the items.  :)

These books go perfectly with our unit of study about questions.

Yo! Yes? (Scholastic Bookshelf)  Scholastic Reader Level 1: May I Please Have A Cookie?  Do You Want To Be My Frien (Japanese Edition) Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

Happy Teaching and Learning!  



The Teacher Wife

14 comments:

  1. I love this song! We sing constantly in my room (hey, they don't know I really don't have a voice, lol) and am looking forward to using it! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. Thanks for posting! I'm always looking for a good activity to use with my kiddos that have trouble with questions versus comments/sentences! :)

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  3. Awesome song! My first graders always think their comment is a question!

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  4. Thank you so much. I was just mentioning how hard it is for kids this age to know what a question is. This will really help!

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  5. This is so great! I love it and I think my students will too. Questions really are hard to understand when you think about it!

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  6. This is wonderful! I am so going to do this. We just went over question words and placed them on a large question mark....they love that part and now this will just re-enforce it for them. Consider me your audience :)

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  7. Thanks, was just thinking I needed to delve more into question words. This will be a good help!

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  8. This is great!! I completely agree with you....most no pretty much all I have a question....are statements!

    I will definitely be teaching my kiddos this song!

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  9. What a great activity! I am always trying to have my students understand the difference between a question or a statement. I can NOT wait to use this with my kids after vacation next week!!

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  10. How perfectly perfect! We are discussing questions in class just now. My student teacher will love to add this to her lessons! Thank you for sharing!

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  11. great song and ideas. thanks for sharing.

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  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the glove/velcro idea!!! Thank you for the link! :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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