Lesson Plan

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Your students are probably used to answering questions. Give them a chance to ask their own with this imaginative lesson on reading comprehension and the ways one can use who, what, when, where, and why.
Download lesson plan
View aligned standards

This reading and writing lesson plan introduces young learners to the Five W’s of fiction comprehension: who, what, when, where, why. Designed for first graders, this lesson helps children to understand that the key components of a question include an "asking" word and a question mark. After reading the interactive story The Lion and the Rat as a class, students will gain practice identifying question words and formulating their own questions to ask when they are reading fiction.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to develop and express questions about a written text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that today's lesson will involve asking questions about a story.
  • Let them know that you'll read a story, and that after you finish reading, you'll ask them two questions about what you've read. Once you're done, they'll become teachers and write their own questions.
  • Project and play The Lion and the Rat.
  • Ask no more than two questions about the story's elements (e.g. regarding author's purpose or point of view).


  • Preview the story by reading it aloud to your students.
  • Provide examples of questions to your students.


  • Review the elements of a story with your students (setting, characters, problem, solution, etc.).
  • Have your students practice verbalizing a question by turning and talking to ask a partner about what they ate for lunch that day.