Chapter 7 #16 Creating their own questions
Submitted by A Firtz on January 22, 2015 - 9:47am
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The benefits of students asking their own questions are mentioned in the text including, placing the meaning-making process directly in the students’ hands (p.210). They deepen their engagement with the text and deepen their understanding of the text (p.210) and for ESL learners I believe deepen their knowledge of the English language. For lower level ESL learners, generating their own questions allows them practice using the basic question words and helps them learn and practice the process of forming different questions and then they better understand how to go about answering the different questions. If it’s a “why question”, you answer with “because”. If it’s a “where question”, the answer should contain a place. If it’s a “who question”, the answer should contain a person or group of people. Etc… I like the Request activity mentioned on 211 which gives all students the opportunity to create and answer questions. I have found that the questions that students come up are very interesting and can be more thought provoking than the simple comprehension questions asked by the teacher.
I’m not teaching a GED classroom but with Webb’s Depth of Knowledge questions that are now on the GED test, I see the value of having students write their own questions. I know that teachers like to use the question stems and instead of having the teacher always form and ask the difficult questions, teachers are now having the students write and answer more complex questions about the text they are studying. This gives the students practice understanding the types of questions they may face on the GED test and how to go about answering them and builds their higher order thinking skills.
This chapter has a lot of very practical ideas on implementing reading strategies. I think it is important for teachers to assist their student in assembling a reading toolbox full of these strategies so as p.232 states, “Eventually students will be able to skip the “making thinking visible” part of their comprehension practice. The metacognitive conversation will be both internal and internalized.”