EL Support Lesson
Asking Questions and Finding Answers
Do your first graders like reading fiction? Then this lesson about asking questions and finding answers about their favorite fictional characters will be a hit. In this fiction comprehension lesson plan, students will take on the persona of a book character as they plan and conduct interviews with one another. First, they will take note of the different characters, settings, events, and details in a specific story. Then, they’ll write up detailed questions that set the stage for a thought-provoking discussion.
Students will be able to ask and answer questions about key details in a written text.
Students will be able to ask and answer questions with grade level-words using written supports.
- Display the read-aloud text and ask students to imagine what the story might be about.
- Explain that today you will be reading aloud this story, and students should be thinking about key details about each of the characters and what makes them special.
- Read aloud the text, pausing as you read to create a list of characters and key details about those character on chart paper or the whiteboard.
Building academic language
- Review or introduce the target vocabulary words for the lesson by displaying each of the words and asking students to connect their prior knowledge of the word. Then provide the definition and ask students to explain the word to a peer using their own words.
- As a group, use the tier one vocabulary words (who, what, where, how, why) to brainstorm questions you might ask a character. Record ideas on the board for students to reference.
- Display the Character Interview worksheet and explain how to use it to ask and answer questions about the mother wolf as your target character. Remind students that the questions and answers should include key details from the text.
- Model how an interview works using a student volunteer. Be sure to demonstrate asking and answering questions using complete sentences, using a clear tone of voice, and listening to the speaker. For example:
- "What do you like to do?" (I like to...)
- "How do you feel about your little wolves?" (I ____My little wolves because...)
- "Why do you think the bad pig does mean things?" (I think...)
- Demonstrate how to utilize the pre-written questions (generated by the class) as well as coming up with your own. Then model how to record answers using the recording sheet.
- Pair students up and assign each as one of the characters from the book. Have them take turns being both the interviewee and the interviewer.
- As students are interviewing their peers, check for any misunderstandings or confusion.
Additional EL adaptations
- Pre-pick which characters students will be using in their interviews.
- Provide sentence starters to support question writing.
- Encourage students to write and record additional questions for a second character.
- Invite students to introduce their character to the class, using the information they learned from their interview.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(5 minutes)
- Circulate around the room and informally assess if students are able to develop and express appropriate questions about the read-aloud text. Take note of students who struggle to communicate verbally or written.
- Collect student worksheets to assess students' ability to record their questions and answers.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Gather the class back together and have them turn and talk to share what they liked best about being the interviewer or the interviewee.
- Ask for several volunteers to share out a question they asked and the answers that they received.