Overview The word question, which stems from the Latin word quaerere (to ask, to seek). Just as ancient heroes would go on a quest for gold, you are on a quest for meaning and understanding when you read. Questions make you an active participant in that process. Good readers ask questions while they read, but also before and after they read.
Types How many types of questions can there possibly be, you might be thinking? But the types of questions---and how and when you ask those questions---depend on the answer to that first important question: Why am I reading this? Once you establish a purpose for yourself, you can then ask which questions will help you achieve that goal. You ask different types of questions to help you:
When Good readers begin asking questions before they even start reading. They ask questions before, during, and after they read. They ask questions like
· What do I need to know about this subject to read this?
· What do I know about this author that might help me?
· Why I am I reading this?
· How should I read it (e.g., carefully, quickly, leisurely)?
· What does this character want?
· What will happen next?
· How does this relate to my own experience, knowledge, or previous reading?
· How did the character change by the end of the story?
· What was the big idea in this article?
· What continues to confuse me?
· To what extent have I achieved my stated purpose---and what evidence can I provide?
Qualities Creating and asking good questions takes time and practice. The clarity of your answer depends entirely on the clarity of your question. Go through the following list of questions and, using a score of 1-5 (1 = weak, 5=excellent), evaluate the quality of these questions. Be able to justify your scores.
· Why can’t we all just get along?
· Will the young become like their elders?
· Why did the author choose this (e.g., word, symbol, image)?
· Do you think that Jasmine compares to Ender from Ender’s Game?
· How is Wen Fu related to Pearl?
· What characteristics do you share with Wen Fu?
· Do you believe in divorce? Does divorce affect you as it did the characters in KGW?
· Are teens (and their lives) in other countries the same or different?
· What point of view is the narrator speaking from?
· Are all teenagers like the younger stones in the story “The Stones?”
· Who was the antagonist?
· Have you ever kept secrets from your family or friends?
· Why do Winnie and Jasmine (and other characters from books we’ve read) grow wise? Relate this to yourself also.
· Have you ever felt stuck in one spot, unable to move?
· How is Jasmine a lot like Pearl?
· Why do the older stones disapprove of water?
· Which of the following do you most identify with: the new stones, young stones, the water, or the moon? Please explain.
· Do parents’ relationship differ around the world?
· What questions do I need to ask to read this story successfully?
· In what ways are the young rocks similar to Telemachus and Jasmine?
· Why does Amy Tan change narrators?
· Who is the narrator of the story?
· How does Odysseus relate to Wen Fu?
· Which of the characters in the books we have read do you identify with the most? Why? Provide specific reasons and examples (drawn from culture, life, personality, opinion).
· What is the main message of this story?
· Why does each generation come into conflict with the culture’s traditions and expectations?
· Like the characters, don’t you wish you could sometimes just get away and become a Nobody?
· Do you think the stones are wrong to leave?
· How do the different characters’ journeys compare with each other?
Criteria What are the criteria for good questions? Complete this sentence: A good question…