EL Support Lesson

Asking and Answering Questions While Reading

Maximize your students' engagement when reading by teaching them how to ask and answer questions along the way. Use this as a stand alone lesson or as a pre-lesson for the *Asking and Answering Questions* lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Asking and Answering Questions lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Asking and Answering Questions lesson plan.

Students will be able to ask and answer questions in order to understand the problems and solution of a basic text.


Students will be able to ask questions about a text with question words using sentence stems.

(2 minutes)
  • Write the word question on the board and have students talk to a shoulder partner about what they think it means. Collect student answers, and confirm and correct as needed.
  • Explain that we ask questions for several reasons. Prompt learners to come up with different types of questions they ask in their everyday lives. Encourage them to reflect on the type of information they hope to gain prior to writing each question.
  • Share that most questions start with the same six words: who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  • Go over the objectives of the lesson with the group and explain that they will be asking and answering questions about a text. This lesson will focus on how to use question forms to write questions.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that there are some key words they will come across in today’s text, so it's important to have an understanding of these important terms before starting the activity.
  • Introduce vocabulary words by reading them aloud and having students repeat them. Go over the definitions and provide visuals when possible. Give examples for each of the words to provide context.
  • Give each student a copy of the Glossary worksheet, and have them review the information and look at the images for each word. Have them label the final column Examples and add an example for each of the words that will help them remember the definition.
  • Put learners into partnerships and instruct them to orally define one of the vocabulary words in their own words. Allow them to use home language (L1) if there is the opportunity to partner students with the same L1. Provide them with the following sentence frame: “The word ____means ____.”
  • Call on students to share their original definitions of the vocabulary words.
(10 minutes)
  • Display and distribute the Common Question Words worksheet. Go over the teaching box by having a learner read the information for each type of question word. Pair students with their shoulder partners and have them share one additional question for each of the six question words. Facilitate a quick share-out with the class.
  • Model reading aloud the first example in Part 1, and point out that the word find is probably referring to a place or location. Show learners how to refer to the teaching chart at the top of the worksheet to figure out the best question word.
  • Put students into A-B partnerships. Instruct Partner A to lead the discussion for #2, while Partner B agrees or disagrees. Have them switch roles for #3. Go over the answers as a class.
  • Have individuals complete #4-6 of Part 1 individually. Call on nonvolunteers to hear answers and reasoning for choosing the question word for each of the sentences.
  • Display six pieces of chart paper, each with a different question word as the label. Explain that this will be a place to record good examples of questions using each question word.
  • Model completing #1 in Part 2 by creating a question that starts with the word who. Show students how to refer to the chart at the top of the worksheet to review the information that a who question seeks. Create the question, and then show how you could orally answer the question. Point out that the answer to a who question will not start with who.
  • Have students work together again in their A-B partnerships to complete #2 and #3 in the same way they did in Part 1. Have partnerships share out example questions, and record them on the board or chart paper for the rest of the learners to see.
  • Instruct individuals to create questions for the remainder of the worksheet. Gather learners’ attention and share out examples, recording them on the appropriate chart paper to serve as reference.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that with the next worksheet, students will be asking and answering questions based on a short passage. Distribute the Asking Questions: 5Ws + H Question Words worksheet and read aloud the text. Have students circle any of the vocabulary words they learned earlier in the lesson, and put a star next to any new words they want to go over. Define and provide visuals for new words, as needed.
  • Model creating a question about the text using one of the question words. For example, "Why does Naya give a quick smile to Leroy?"
  • Pair students up, and have them create a question together using a different question word. Then, combine two partnerships to make a group of 4. Have the learners share their questions with each other using the following sentence stems: "Our question word is ____. The question is ____. "
  • Instruct students to complete the worksheet independently. Put students back into groups of four and have them use the following sentence stems to share their sentences: "My question word is ____. The question is ____."


  • Allow students to access reference materials in L1.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
  • Provide Beginning ELs with additional example sentences with the common question words as a reference during group and independent work time.
  • Allow students to orally complete the worksheets in a teacher-led small group.


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
  • Ask advanced ELs to support beginning ELs in group work and reviewing key terms.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
(5 minutes)
  • Observe student conversations as they share questions from the Asking Questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How worksheet. Notice students’ correct use of the question words.
  • Give each learner a half-sheet of paper and have them number it from #1-6. Write each of the six question words on the board (who, what, when, where, why, how) for students to reference as a word bank. Display the following cloze sentences and have them record their answers on the half-sheet of paper:
    • 1) ____ will go to the park with me?
    • 2) ____ do we need to meet at the bus stop?
    • 3) ____ will you be late?
    • 4) ____ do we get there if we miss the bus?
    • 5) ____ is the park?
    • 6) ____ will we do at the park?
(3 minutes)
  • Go over the cloze sentences with the class. Ask them to share the context that helped them choose the question words. Provide the following sentence frame for them as they discuss answers: "I chose ____ for that question because ____."

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