When students ask questions and search for answers, they are monitoring their own comprehension and interacting
with text to construct meaning. Whether the questions are teacher or student generated, questioning promotes interactive and
engaging opportunities to collaboratively construct meaning of text and to share thinking. Questioning is the key to understanding.
Through questioning, comprehension increases as readers interact with text, focus on main ideas, clarify their thinking, make
connections, and extend meaning.
The role of the teacher is:
• To provide opportunities for students to generate questions.
• To generate and model questions to clarify and extend meaning before,
during, and after reading.
• To give sufficient wait time for students to answer the questions.
• To encourage, prompt, and coach students to higher levels of response.
• To help students understand the relationship between questions and answers.
• To model and facilitate the thinking processes required for the demands
of varied texts, questions, and answers.
The role of the student is:
• To construct and answer questions related to the text.
• To generate questions to clarify understanding of text and extend meaning
before, during, and after reading.
• To integrate teacher-modeled thinking and questioning strategies into
• To develop questions for further inquiry and research.
The observer will see:
• The teacher modeling questioning strategies to enable students to generate
• The teacher engaging students in discussion through prompting and probing
• The students generating and answering questions using varied texts, print
resources, and personal experiences.
• The students using text to generate questions of increasing complexity.
Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2000). Strategies that work: Teaching comprehension to enhance understanding.
Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
Questioning strategies. (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2004, from the University of Delaware, Center
for Teaching Effectiveness Web site: http://www.cte.udel.edu
Reading: Questioning. (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2004, from Literacy Matters Web site: http://www.literacymatters.org/content/readandwrite/question.htm
Tierney, R., & Readence, J. (2000). Reading strategies and practices: A compendium. Boston:
Allyn & Bacon.
CPS Grades 4-8 Literacy Observation Guidelines 24