Lesson plan

Who, When, What, Where, Why, and How?

Do you have students who are constantly asking what, who, where, why, how, and when? It's your turn to ask now! Have them read various stories and ask them to answer these questions in this lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Asking Questions and Finding AnswersAnd All About the 5 W'sPre-lessons.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Asking Questions and Finding AnswersAnd All About the 5 W'sPre-lessons.

Students will be able to ask and answer who, when, where, how, why, and what questions to show understanding of key details in a text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
Fill in the StoryFive WJack and the BeanstalkJack and the Beanstalk Part 1Jack and the Beanstalk Part 2Stone SoupThe Ugly DucklingJack and the Beanstalk: Part 1The Ugly Duckling
  • Ask your students if they know what the 5 W's are. Write them on the board if they come up with the correct answer. Add the ones that they didn't come up with on the board.
  • Give examples of each from a story that you have recently read in class.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask your students to come up with a question for each of the 5 W's and share them with a partner. Then, have them write them in their notebooks.
  • Instruct your students to come up with a "how" question, as well. For example: "How did the main character solve the conflict?"
  • Set the timer to five minutes.
  • Instruct your students to share at least one question that they wrote with the class.
(20 minutes)
  • Give your students the 5 W's worksheet to complete with a partner. Have them ask the questions aloud to the their partner before writing them done in their worksheet.
  • Go over the worksheet with your students as a class.
  • Remind your students to write their answers in complete sentences.
(30 minutes)
  • Ask your students to read the The Ugly Duckling worksheet.
  • Ask your students to answer the 5 W's and "how" questions about the reading in their notebooks. For example: "Who are the characters in the story? When and where does it take place? How is the Ugly Duckling different from the other ducklings?"


  • Ask your students to complete the Fill In The Story worksheet. Instruct your students to finish the story. After that, ask them to write a question and answer for each W and "how" for the story.


  • Ask your students about a story that they have read. Ask them the 5 W's and "how" about the story. Explain to your students that a good story always answers the 5 W’s and "how" questions.
  • Instruct your students to pair with a partner and read any story book from the class library. Have them write questions for each other to answer.

As you introduce the words, project the words and examples using a document reader or smartboard.

(20 minutes)
  • Direct your students to read the Stone Soup worksheet. Alternatively, you can read the text aloud for struggling learners.
  • After that, ask your students to take out a sheet of paper to answer the 5 W's and "how" questions about the story. For example: "Where does the story take place? How many hungry men go looking for ingredients to make a delicious soup? What is the name of the soup that the two men in the story are cooking? Who do the old men meet on their way looking for food? Why did the villager give the two old men ingredients for their soup?"
  • Give time for partnerships to orally ask and answer the questions they asked.
  • Monitor students' ability to ask and answer question in complete sentences. Notice their reference to the text for their answers.
(30 minutes)
  • Read the Jack and the Beanstalk worksheets to the class.
  • Remind your students to pay attention, as they will be answering questions on their own about the story.
  • After you are done reading the story, instruct your students to go back to their seats.
  • Ask your students to complete the Jack and the Beanstalk worksheet.
  • Remind your students to answer questions in full, complete sentences.
  • Note that the worksheet contains the same content three times, so you can cut it out before you hand it to the students.

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