Tips and Tricks 2: Asking Questions!
[BH] Questions, Questions, Questions. Ask questions when reading a book to your little, but don’t ask too many questions. Make sure you are asking the right kind of questions. AHHHHH. Starting out in my education degree I always felt a little lost about how many questions I should ask my class when I was reading a book. What kind of questions are the right kind of questions to ask . HOW DO YOU KNOW! I felt like this was one of the trickiest things to figure out!
Questions are great. They can help engage your little in the story. They can help your little learn new concepts and they can help your little answer their own questions. But too many questions can make your little uninterested in the story. Ask questions as long as your little seems interested, and of course that is something that could change day to day( dependent on the way the moon is in the sky, just kidding! ).
[G] I’ve learned through experience that questions are a lifesaver. When I present storytime at the library, I can have anywhere between 5 kids and 30 kids in front of me. Sometimes (especially if the group is on the larger side), kids get fidgety or lose interest in the book. That’s when I really like to bust out the questions. Of course, at my storytimes, the audience is usually closer to two, BUT IT STILL WORKS. It gets the littles involved in the story beyond just listening. They are interacting!
The benefits: Growing vocabulary! Becoming active readers!
But what type of questions are good questions???
For any age:
- questions that make your little respond with more than a one word answer! Avoid the yes/no questions.
- First ask questions about the story: “What’s in the tree?” “What is he feeling?”
- Then ask follow up questions:
- Why….is that ball all the way up in the tree?
- How….do you know he feels sad?
- What… will happen next?
For younger littles:
- Ask questions that focus on naming objects
- what is this?
- Or ask about feelings.
For both (to improve vocabulary!!):
- When the little answers, repeat what they say by adding in a little bit more
- have the little repeat what you said.
Of course, not every day is a questions-asking type of day. Or maybe not every page is a questions-asking type of page. Follow along with what your little is feeling–don’t force it! We want reading to be fun, not work.
If you’re interested in reading more about this, google “dialogic reading”–an official name for asking questions!