What to do
- Write the story on the board or print it and project it on an overhead projector.
- Here's a story you've read before. Let's read it slowly and then see if we can read it more quickly. Get ready. Wait until everyone is sitting ready.
- You're going to read each word as I point to it. Remember to sound out the word silently if you don't recognize it straight away. Ready?
- Point just beneath the first word. Pause for three seconds (less if all students are able to keep up). What's the word?
- Continue with the other words in the story, pointing beneath the word, pausing for three seconds, then asking: What's the word? Try to ensure you are bringing all students with you. If needed, give individual students a chance to start again from the beginning of each sentence.
- Okay, now let's read the story again from the beginning. Go back through the story with slightly shorter pauses.
- Great. Now let's try really fast. This time I'm not going to ask "What's the word?" Just read each word as I point at it. Point beneath each word at a rate of around one word per second or a bit longer (so students get a feel for what reading at 40+ words per minute is like). Again, give individuals a turn on their own until you have everyone reading at speed. You can tell when a student is reading fluently: it sounds like normal speech.
- So now I want you to think of a question about this story. Everybody think of their own question. It could be a Who question, a Where question, a When question, a Why question, or a What question. You choose. Give students a moment to think. The first few times you do this activity, give examples of the different question types: Who hid in the tunnel? Where was it? When did that happen? Why would he do that? What might have happened next? Etc.
- Have you thought of a question? Good. Now turn to your neighbor. One of you ask the question and the other answer, then switch roles. Ready? Go ahead. The first few times you do this, model it by asking a student for their question and answering it, then asking one back. After students have discussed their answers, ask a few of them to share what they were asked and what answer they gave.