When I first started teaching, I thought teaching students to ask questions was a waste of time. I guess, in my mind, kids should do it automatically. Once I started analyzing strengths and weaknesses, I realized that many of my kids had no idea what their brains should be doing while reading. Explicitly teaching students to ask questions is essential.
I love the following books for doing just that! Give your students multiple examples and opportunities to practice asking questions by using multiple books that they’ll love.
If you are interested in snagging any of these books, click the picture to find it on Amazon.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
This book is so interesting and maybe even a bit odd! When Sylvester discovers a magic pebble, he mysteriously turns into a rock. His parents look everywhere for him, but they aren’t able to find him. Will they ever discover that Sylvester is actually sitting near their house? There are so many questions that you and your students can generate as you read this book aloud!
This is Not My Hat
Where did this hat come from? What will the fish do with the hat? Does someone realize it is missing? This book is simple and funny. My kids love it and it is GREAT for teaching your students to ask questions. Sometimes, we get the answers to our questions by reading further into the story. Other times, we don’t.
We Found A Hat
We Found a Hat is just as silly and ridiculous as This is Not My Hat, and my kids love it just as much! In this book, two turtles stumble upon ONE hat. Two turtle and only one hat. What will they do? Will they take turns? Will they fight over it? Will one sneak off to get it? So many opportunities for questions that your students may NEVER get answers to!
When this bear can’t find his hat, he begins asking all of the other animals around him if they’ve seen it. Did someone steal it? Did he misplace it? Will he ever find it? How foolish does he feel when he talks to someone WEARING HIS HAT?! Jon Klassen’s books are easy to read and easy to understand. And they are perfect for getting kids to ask questions. After all, there are SO many!
David Wiesner is the master at wordless picture books. I’ve used many of them to help my students ask questions. They are also perfect because students of all reading abilities can practice the same skill. Tuesday is my favorite because it certainly sparks a hundred and one questions. When frogs begin flying through town on their lily pads on Tuesday night, your students will start jotting down a boatload of questions. Does this happen every Tuesday? Why is this happening? What do the people in town think? How can they make this stop?
Do you love mentor texts as much as I do? Have trouble organizing them all?
Do you want to use mentor texts but you don’t know where to start?
I have a FREE Mentor Text Cheat Sheet for you! In this Google Sheet, you’ll find MY list of Mentor Texts and the reading skills that I use them to teach. You can add your own books, sort by author or reading skills, find shortcuts to my blog posts, AND
>>>my favorite feature<<<
>>>cue the drum roll, please<<<
Choose from a dropdown menu to show where you can find the book. For example, I use a boatload of mentor texts in my reading instruction. I can’t afford to buy them all. I find some in our school library, the local library, borrow from my teacher friends, and SOME of them, I do own!
Using the dropdown menu, you can easily remind yourself where you can find your mentor text when you need it! Click the image above OR click here to grab it.