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Lesson Plan

Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research

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Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Session One: Introducing the Topic---What Do We Know?

Session Two: Expanding the Topic---Asking Questions

Session Three (and ongoing): Gathering Information---What Are We Learning?

Session Four: Exploring the Genre---How Can We Share What We Learned?

Session Five


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • use nonfiction texts and the Internet to gather information, generate questions, and find the answers to questions.

  • explore the genre of Question and Answer Books in print and online.

  • contribute information and illustrations to create a class book in question and answer format.

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Session One: Introducing the Topic---What Do We Know?

  1. Post chart paper on the board.

  2. Gather students together and write at the top of the chart, "What Do We Know About Insects?"

  3. Ask students to tell you what they know about insects, and chart their responses.

  4. Write the students' names (small) at the end of their responses.

  5. When students have run out of information, do a picture walk through a book about insects to model getting information from pictures. Use a book with large, clear photographs and minimal text, so that you can read to the students while focusing on the pictures. Seethe Insect Book List for suggestions.

  6. After reading aloud and doing the picture walk, have students tell what they found out from the pictures.

  7. Explain to students that they will be reading pictures with a partner and that we will all come together after a little while to tell some things we found out.

  8. Pair students off and give them about fifteen or twenty minutes to explore.

  9. Allow them to change books if they want, but make sure they are really looking at the pictures together and talking about what they see.

  10. Circulate among the students to ask questions about what they see.

  11. Regroup and have students tell some things they found out from the pictures.

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Session Two: Expanding the Topic---Asking Questions

  1. Post a new chart paper next to the first one. On this chart, write "What Questions Do We Have About Insects?"

  2. Choose another insect book for reading aloud. As you read, identify information that is presented and model asking additional questions.

  3. Write one of your questions on the chart.

  4. Ask students if they have any additional questions, post them on the chart, and add their names.

  5. Have students work with partners to explore more picture books. Make sure they know that they will be bringing questions back to the group.

  6. As students read together, circulate and ask them what they are finding out, and what else they would like to know. Model questioning if necessary.

  7. After about fifteen minutes, bring students back together in a circle, with partners sitting together with the book (or books) they read together.

  8. Give students a minute or two to clarify with their partners one question they would like to add to the chart. Then, go around the circle and ask each set of partners, "What else do you want to know?"

  9. Post the questions on the chart, using a different color marker for each question. Put students' names with their questions.

  10. Keep the charts posted for the next session.

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Session Three (and ongoing): Gathering Information---What Are We Learning?

  1. Post a new chart paper to the right of the question chart. At the top, write "Answers We Found."

  2. Choose a book for reading aloud which has the answer to the question you posted on the question chart in Session Two.

  3. Gather students together. Review your question with the students then read aloud the section of the book that answers the question.

  4. Have students tell the answer to the question.

  5. Explain that students will explore picture books and easy reading books each day for a few days and will also explore insect sites on the Internet to gather information.

  6. Before reading/exploring each day, have the whole group review the list of questions.

  7. After about 20 minutes or so of picture exploration, bring the group together and ask if anyone found any answers to any of the questions on the list.

  8. As answers are given to the questions, write the answers on the answer chart directly across from the question, using the same color marker that was used for the question (see example), so that each question and answer are adjacent. When charting, be sure to write students' names next to their own information and questions.

  9. During these exploration times, add any new questions to the chart that students ask, and continue to look for answers.

  10. Also during this time, have an adult volunteer bring small groups of students to the computer to type in questions at the Ask Kids Website, or read information from selected Websites to find the information they are looking for. The Websites listed at Insects For Kids can provide a good starting point. Answers that are difficult to find can be gleaned from selected read alouds and from the Internet.

  11. As pertinent for the questions that students are exploring, share one or more of the following interactives with your class or with small groups of students:

    • Anatomy of a Hive
      Explore bee hives and the various roles of the bees who live in them in this PBS resource.

    • Anatomy of Worker Honey Bee
      Mouse over the bee drawing to see the name and the function of the various parts of the insect's body. More information about the body parts is provided below the image.

    • Changing Cicadas Slide Show
      This Science NetLinks interactive slide show features photographs of every stage of a cicada's development.

    • Dances with Bees
      Share small QuickTime videos of bees from the NOVA Website to explore how bees interact.
  12. When all questions have been answered on the charts, prepare for making the question and answer book.

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Session Four: Exploring the Genre---How Can We Share What We Learned?

  1. Post ten questions about insects with a copy of the Table of Contents from a Question and Answer book in a study skills learning center. Key the questions to the information available in the book.

  2. Ask students to use the index page to determine where they will most likely find the answer to each question. They can write the page number(s) on their answer sheets.

  3. Once students have had a chance to forecast where they'll find the answers to their questions, share the Question and Answer book with the class, noting where the answers are found in the book and the relationship of the answers to the index or table of contents.

  4. After reading the book, ask students to point out what they notice about the way that the book was put together.

  5. If someone does not volunteer the observation, ask students how the structure of the book relates to the information on the KWL charts. Draw particular attention to the questions and answers on the chart and the question and answer structure of the book.

  6. Explain that during the next class session, you'll publish the information from your KWL chart in a class Question and Answer book.

  7. As class time allows, students can explore additional Question and Answer books.

  8. Before the next session, prepare the questions as necessary for the class book. For instance, for younger students, you can use a word processor to type out all questions and answers in large font, spaced so that they can be cut apart and distributed to students for easy copying.

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Session Five

  1. If there are fewer questions and answers than students, plan to make more than one copy of the book, so that each student will make one page.

  2. Pass out the materials for the book.

  3. If you've prepared a handout of the questions for your students, pass that information out as well. Older students can copy the questions and answers directly from the charts; however, younger students may need a large print copy of a single question.

  4. Ask each student to write the question on a sheet of white photocopy paper. Trim the extra white space, and glue their writing onto the middle of a sheet of 9x12 construction paper.

  5. Repeat the process for the answer to the question. The question and answer are glued on reverse sides of the same sheet of construction paper (make sure they are both right side up).

  6. When all pages have been completed, invite students to provide illustrations in color. Students can draw on directly on the construction paper or work on white photocopy paper, which is trimmed and glued into place. Alternatively, have students print out and color insect images from Fun Stuff Coloring Book.

  7. If desired, trace over all student writing with a colored fine-point marker. You might also laminate all pages.

  8. Bind the book so that the question page is seen first, and page will be turned to read the answer (see example).

  9. When the book has been bound, read it aloud to the class and add it to the classroom library.

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  • Use kidwatching and anecdotal records during the studentsí independent work process to gauge student engagement, reading comprehension, and collaboration skills. The finished book product will serve as an overall assessment of the publishing process.

  • Have students assess their own work using the Partner Reading Checklist.

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