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Questioning: The Ultimate Reading Strategy for Critical Thinkers



Questioning is a reading strategy that involves generating and answering questions before, during, and after reading to enhance comprehension. It helps readers to engage with the text, think critically, and retain information. This article will provide an overview of questioning as a reading strategy, discuss its formation and promotion, explore how it can help RTI students, and offer practical tips for implementing it in the classroom.


Overview of Questioning as a Reading Strategy


Questioning is a metacognitive reading strategy that involves actively engaging with the text by asking questions, seeking answers, and making connections between ideas. The strategy is divided into three stages: before, during, and after reading.


Before Reading: This stage involves generating questions before reading to help activate prior knowledge and set a purpose for reading. Questions could be related to the author, genre, topic, or theme of the text.


During Reading: This stage involves generating questions while reading to monitor comprehension, clarify understanding, and make predictions. Questions could be related to the meaning of unfamiliar words, the main idea, or the author's purpose.


After Reading: This stage involves generating questions after reading to evaluate understanding, reflect on learning, and make connections to real-life situations. Questions could be related to the text's relevance, the author's bias, or the characters' motivations.

Formation and Promotion of Questioning as a Reading Strategy.


The questioning reading strategy was first introduced in the 1960s by the educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, who developed the Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Bloom's Taxonomy is a framework for classifying learning objectives into six hierarchical levels, ranging from simple recall of information to complex analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The questioning strategy is based on the higher-order thinking levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, which require students to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving.


Since its inception, the questioning strategy has been widely promoted by educators, researchers, and curriculum developers as a powerful tool for improving reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. It has been incorporated into various reading programs and curricula, including the Reading Recovery Program, the Common Core State Standards, and the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.


How Questioning Helps RTI Students


The RTI framework is a multi-tiered system of support designed to help struggling students by providing targeted interventions that address their specific needs. The questioning reading strategy is an effective tool for RTI students because it helps them to:

  1. Activate Prior Knowledge: Questioning before reading helps students to activate their prior knowledge and build connections between what they already know and what they will be reading. This can improve their comprehension and retention of information.

  2. Monitor Comprehension: Questioning during reading helps students to monitor their comprehension and identify areas of confusion or misunderstanding. This can help them to clarify their understanding and improve their overall comprehension.

  3. Reflect on Learning: Questioning after reading helps students to reflect on what they have learned and make connections to real-life situations. This can help them to apply their learning and develop a deeper understanding of the text.

Implementing Questioning in the Classroom


Here are some practical tips for implementing the questioning reading strategy in the classroom:

  1. Model the Strategy: Model the questioning strategy by asking students questions about the text before, during, and after reading. This can help them to see how the strategy works and develop their own questioning skills.

  2. Provide Guided Practice: Provide guided practice by giving students a set of questions to answer before, during, and after reading. This can help them to develop their questioning skills and build confidence.

  3. Encourage Independent Practice: Encourage independent practice by having students generate their own questions before, during, and after reading. This can help them to take ownership of their learning and develop their critical thinking skills.

  4. Use Graphic Organizers: Use graphic organizers, such as KWL charts or mind maps, to help students organize their questions and make connections between ideas.

  5. Differentiate Instruction: Differentiate instruction by providing different levels of questioning for students at different levels of proficiency. For example, lower-level questions for struggling readers and higher-level questions for advanced readers.

In conclusion, questioning is a powerful reading strategy that can help RTI students to improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. By generating and answering questions before, during, and after reading, students can engage with the text, monitor their comprehension, and reflect on their learning. Implementing this strategy in the classroom requires modeling, guided practice, independent practice, graphic organizers, and differentiated instruction. By incorporating questioning into their reading instruction, teachers can help their students to become more effective readers and critical thinkers.

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