Big Questions

  • Creating a Questioning Stance

     Our nonfiction readers need to continuously question the text to expand their comprehension. We will focus on three questions:

    • What surprised me?
    • What did the author think I already knew?
    • What changed, challenged, or confirmed what I already knew?

    These questions are easy enough to remember yet robust enough to yield a closer look. Reading with these questions in mind encourages a critical, attentive stance. Students are encouraged to not simply accept nonfiction text, but to reason and grapple with the information presented.

     What surprised me?

    When students read with this question in mind, they actively look for that new information. There is a purpose to what they’re reading. No longer is nonfiction a “boring” assignment, but a means to learn something new and exciting.

     What did the author think I already knew?

    Often nonfiction text can cause confusion. It’s at this moment students may simply give up trying to understand the text. With this question in mind, students reason to identify the “it’ in the common complaint, “I don’t get it.”

     What challenged, changed, or confirmed what I already knew?

    As students read nonfiction text, they should begin to expect to be challenged, changed, or confirmed by the information. Connections are made, background knowledge is either made or challenged.

Non Fiction Signposts