Who What When Were Why Questions
Who, what, where, when, why -- five little questions that form the basis of any good piece of informational text. If your kid is struggling with nonfiction reading or just paragraph writing, these tests are sure to help. Make sure your student knows why and when to use the famous wh questions in their writing with our collection of drills specially designed for help with wh questions. Once your kid masters it, they’ll be on their way to non-fiction know-how.
Curiosity is a fantastic foundation for learning which drives students to figure out how things work and interact with each other. In order to give their questions a voice, they need to understand the words that give questions their meaning. Who, what, when, where, why, and how, sometimes referred to as the five w’s and how or sometimes 5W1H words, form the basis for how they can ask questions and approach information in a way that maximizes their comprehension.
When writing, students must provide the reader with the answer to these questions. When reading, they must be able to recognize these answers to truly understand what they’re reading. Explain to your students the meaning of these words:
- Who is the story or passage about. This refers to the characters or key players in the passage.
- What is happening in the passage. These are the events that take place.
- Where are the events taking place. While this is typically geographically, some writers can be more abstract with their setting.
- When are the events taking place. This can be gleaned by looking for future or past tense verbs.
- Why are the events taking place. Is there a motivation behind what’s happening or are they simply a series of cause and effect style events?
- How are the events taking place. In what way have the events or characters actions led to what’s happening in the passage.
A simple exercise to reinforce this concept is to create a table with sections for each ‘w word’ and how. Then, as the student reads the passage, have them fill out the form with the elements that fit in each section. Education.com has provided many worksheets above that students can practice this skill with.