One of my favorite strategies for engaging young minds and fostering critical thinking is the “asking questions” strategy. Encouraging students to ask questions not only stimulates their curiosity but also enhances their comprehension and analytical skills.
One powerful tool I often utilize in the classroom to teach this strategy is picture books. Picture books not only captivate students’ imaginations but also provide rich content for practicing this important skill. In this blog post, I will share an interactive read-aloud lesson plan for teaching students how to use the asking questions strategy with picture books.
I’m sharing all of these books on video as well! Check out the Picture Books for Asking Questions video on my Youtube channel:
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How to Use Picture Books for Asking Questions
1. Select the Right Picture Book:
The first step in implementing this strategy is choosing an age-appropriate picture book with a compelling storyline and vivid illustrations. Look for books that will pique your students’ interest and curiosity. There is a list of picture books for asking questions at the end of this blog post!
2. Introduce the Asking Questions Strategy:
Begin by explaining the purpose of the lesson: to learn how to ask questions while reading to deepen our understanding. Emphasize that questions can be about the characters, the plot, or anything that confuses them. Share examples of different types of questions, such as who, what, when, where, why, and how questions.
3. Model Questioning:
During the interactive read-aloud session, model the asking questions strategy by reading aloud a portion of the book and pausing to ask questions yourself. Show students how to think aloud as you formulate questions, demonstrating your thought process. This will help students understand the strategy better.
4. Encourage Student Participation:
After modeling, invite students to take turns asking questions while you continue reading the book. Encourage all students to participate, even if their questions seem simple or unrelated. This fosters a safe and inclusive classroom environment where curiosity is celebrated.
5. Discuss and Reflect:
After completing the book, gather the class for a discussion. Ask students to share the questions they asked and discuss their thought processes. Encourage them to reflect on how their questions enhanced their comprehension of the story. This discussion helps students see the value of asking questions while reading.
My Favorite Picture Books for Teaching Asking Questions
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg
Sylvester & the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr.
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Helen Berger
The Empty Pot by Demi
Teaching the asking questions strategy using picture books can be a fun and effective way to foster curiosity and critical thinking in your elementary school students. By carefully selecting the right book, introducing the strategy, modeling, encouraging participation, and facilitating meaningful discussions, you empower your students to become active and engaged readers.
As they continue to develop this skill, they’ll not only excel in their reading comprehension but also become more inquisitive learners in all aspects of their education. So, go ahead and choose a captivating picture book, and watch your students’ curiosity soar!
Interactive Read Alouds Done for You
If you’re ready to add more read alouds into your day, I have the solution for you! The Colorful Apple Book Club brings read aloud lessons and activities such as vocabulary, crafts, writing response and discussion prompts, right to you!
No more wondering if the book you found will work for the reading strategy you wanted. No more flipping through pages of countless books to make sure it’s on your students’ listening level. I’ve done all the work for you! Just hit print and you’ll be totally set for your read aloud lessons.
Each month with your membership, you’ll get 5 read aloud lessons and activities to support your students.
Each lesson includes:
- a teacher guide to help you prep the lesson
- an anchor chart that connects to the book and the lesson
- discussion questions that you can print right on sticky notes!
- vocabulary words to help students understand the story
- written response
- activity sheet to practice the skill of the lesson
- craftivity or game that reinforces the skill
- task cards to guide discussion
Ready to learn more about the Colorful Apple Book Club or sign up? Click HERE! I’d love to walk you through everything you’ll get! I can’t wait to save you time and get these effective lessons in your hands.
Listen on the Podcast
Save this Book List
Be sure to save this pin to your favorite read alouds board on Pinterest! You’ll be able to come back to these books when you are ready to read them aloud with your students.