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Lesson Plan

Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy for Small-Group Guided Reading

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Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy for Small-Group Guided Reading

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30- to 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

John Young

Bellflower, California


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology




  • Chart paper and markers

  • Highlighters

  • Journals

  • Sticky notes

  • Text selections

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1. Select texts (print or online) to use for the read-aloud and small-group reading.
  • Read-aloud. Suggestions for the read-aloud include social studies and science content area texts. These may be difficult to find in traditional guided reading texts. If so, substitute with student textbooks or downloadable texts from websites. Make sure that the text is written at a level high enough to challenge students' understanding or is relatively new to their background knowledge.

  • Small-group reading. While you may normally look for texts that challenge students at their instructional reading levels in small-group reading, you may choose to select something a little easier initially as students first try the questioning strategy. If you think your students would perform well with instructional level texts, then, by all means, use those instead.
2. Create a reference list of words that begin questions: who, what, where, when, why, how, what if, I wonder, etc.

3. Make a T-chart on chart paper with the labels 'Thin' and 'Thick' to use when introducing thin and thick questions during Session 1.

4. Locate and bookmark appropriate websites for further exploring the class topic. See Extensions for a list of sample websites.

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