Lesson Plan Template: LIST 4373

[Humphrey The Lost Whale Read Aloud practicing the Questioning Strategy]

 by Brooke Yarbrough



Lesson Overview

Title: Humphrey The Lost Whale


Focus of Lesson: To practice generating questions as a reading comprehension strategy.


Objectives (3-5) Use Verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy 

The learner will….

1.     Following the teacher modeled read-aloud of Humphrey The Lost Whale, 3rd grade students will be able to accurately name and define the comprehension strategy they are using and explain the purpose of the strategy such as: when it is used and why it is used by turning and talking to a neighbor.

2.     During the read aloud of Humphrey The Lost Whale, the students will contribute to group discussion and generate a question(s) as we read along, everyone contributing at least one question.

3.     After the read aloud, 3rd grade students will apply the strategy of generating questions by creating at least 5 questions they had while reading their independent reading book through completing a worksheet.


Rationale for learning

Active reading enhances comprehension and every child needs to understand what they are reading as well as the purpose of the text. We also want students to use schema, knowledge and thoughts, about their background and bring it to the text to relate to it. Children also need modeling to show them first-hand how to do something correctly. Students also need a gradual release of responsibility. With modeling and asking them to jump, it will help the transfer of responsibility. If the child still needs scaffolding, the teacher needs to model again. Students need a model but they also need a chance to try it out themselves so that they can practice and become experts as well. Using the strategy of questioning and wondering while reading will help them comprehend better. It will help them while reading to think about what they are reading. According to Reading With Meaning, readers ask questions for a variety of reasons: to clarify meaning, speculate about text yet to be read, determine an author’s styles or intent, focus attention on specific components of the text, locate a specific answer in the text and more. Questioning also might help make predictions to what might happen next in the story or understand the main idea. Students need to be exposed to all different strategies to help build comprehension skills. Today in the schools, children are having difficulty with comprehending.



Student Assessment

1.     Students will list their think aloud ideas about questioning/wondering on a worksheet using their independent reading level book, at least generating 5 questions after reading for the teacher to grade.

2.     The students will discuss with a partner the name and purpose of the strategy of generating questions. The teacher will be walking around listening to students responses and will check off names on a checklist.

3.     The teacher will check off names on a checklist during the read aloud of who contributed to the discussion by generating questions. For the students who do not participate, the teacher will re-model and ask them to practice with the teacher one-on-one or in small groups.



Grade Level


 FORMCHECKBOX   PK/Kindergarten












Materials and Resources Required for Lesson

Books and Print out Materials:

·         Humphrey The Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda and Richard Hall

·         Generating Questions Poster (attached)

·         Generating Questions Checklist (attached)

·         Generating Questions Worksheet (attached)



Supplies: pencil, independent reading book



Activities and TEKS (full text of Language Arts TEKS go here)


 §110.14. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 3, Beginning with School Year 2009-2010.


(29)  Listening and Speaking/Listening. Students use comprehension skills to listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings. Students continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to:

        (A)  listen attentively to speakers, ask relevant questions, and make pertinent comments


 (31) Listening and Speaking/Teamwork. Students work productively with others in teams. Students continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to participate in teacher- and student-led discussions by posing and answering questions with appropriate detail and by providing suggestions that build upon the ideas of others.


Reading Comprehension Skills.

Students use a flexible range of metacognitive reading skills in both assigned and independent reading to understand an author’s message. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth in increasingly more complex texts as they become self-directed, critical readers. The student is expected to:

(A)   Establish purposes for reading selected texts based upon own or others’ desired outcome to enhance comprehension

(B)   Ask literal, interpretive, and evaluative questions of text;








Introduction to the Lesson (focus, state purpose of learning to students)


“Okay class I want you all to look at this picture. [show them a picture of a huge whale in the ocean flying out of the water] What kind of questions do you have when you see this? I know I have a question when I look at it. I’m wondering how big this whale really is? Does anyone have any questions when looking at it? What are you thinking about when you see this? [students respond] Great job! Now we are going to read Humphrey The Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda and Richard Hall and do the same thing. We are going to be asking questions just like that throughout the whole story. Are you ready to read the story?”







Instruction: “I do, we do, you do”


  1. I Do (Modeling)


“When you are reading a book to yourself or listening to a story questions always come to your mind. These questions help you to think about what is happening in the story. You can ask these questions before, during, or even after reading a story or text. I am going to model for you by thinking aloud how to use the strategy of questioning. About half way through the story I am going to ask you to join in and tell me what kind of questions you have while reading. But first, I am going to tell you the what, why, when, and how of using this strategy.”




What: You ask questions while you are reading.

Why: Questioning will help you be able to think about what is going on in a story which will later lead you to understanding the text. Questioning also helps you to understand main ideas in the story.

When: When you want to know more about what is going on or have questions about the text.

How: You ask yourself questions before, during, and after you read.



Think aloud statements:


Before Reading:

·         I am wondering if Humphrey really got lost or if he just thought he was?

·         I am also wondering if he ever finds his way back to his home if he really did get lost.

During Reading:

·         I’m wondering how the animals talking to each other sounds?

·         I want to know how they know where to go every winter and summer?

·         I want to know what made Humphrey go the other way? Why would he do that?

·         I wonder if he ever turns around and goes back home?

·         I wonder how big Humphrey looked when the people saw him.

·         I want to know if anyone will ever find Humphrey?

·         Did he know he was going the wrong way, I wonder?

·         I wonder what would have happened if no one found Humphrey in the river?

·         I’m wondering why the river water might make Humphrey sick?

·         I wonder how the scientists thought of that idea? That was so smart!

·         I wonder what the other danger was besides being in the river?

·         When Humphrey heard the pipes, I wonder if he thought it was real whales?


  1. We Do

             “Okay students, now I am going to keep reading aloud and we are going to stop every page or so and I am going to let you all think of questions that you might have while reading the story. You will be getting a participation grade for this. I want everyone to participate and at least one question so we can all get great practice and learn how to comprehend better.” The teacher will be checking off names on the checklist of who participates in generating questions.

[ Teacher continues to model as needed if students are still having difficulty]



  1. You Do (Independent practice)


“Before doing your activity I want you to turn and talk to your neighbor(s) and tell them the strategy we learned today and when it is used and why. [give children time and use checklist to check off names of students who participate] Okay, now it is your turn to try the strategy out because we have all practiced together. You are going to read start a new book or finish the book you are reading now and fill in the worksheet with things you are wondering or thinking about while reading. You can also use the poster given to help you think about how to start your think aloud your statements.”





Differentiation Options (modify by content, process, and/or final product)



Students with challenges in literacy

1. Have them sit close to the teacher.

2. Scaffold their responses to help them make meaning of the text.

3. Provide more modeling and one-on-one time as needed.

4. Partner the student up with a student who has grasped the strategy.


English Language Learners (ELL)

1. Provide guidance when they are writing down their questions.

2. Teacher assistance as needed.

3. Provide more time for them to read and generate their questions.

4. Use visuals for the student to better understand.

Early finishers and/or students who need enrichment

1. Help other students who are struggling writing their questions.

2. Grab another book and think fill in another worksheet using the questioning strategy.

3. Read independently.

4. Write in journals about other connections they have with their story.


References and Internet Resources  (cite APA style)

Miller, D. (2002). Reading with Meaning: teaching comprehension in the primary grades. Portland: Stenhouse Publishers.


-provided e-mails from Dr. Semingson

-Sample lesson plans on WebCT (https://webct.uta.edu/SCRIPT/list4373001ma10/scripts/serve_home)




Assessment Tools:



Generating Questions Checklist


Students Name

Generated question(s) during read aloud

Discusses strategy with partner















































Independent Assessment:


Name: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________

Date:   ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________


Directions: You are going to read your independent reading book. While you are reading you are going to apply the strategy of generating questions to help you comprehend reading. You will write at least FIVE questions that come to your mind while you are reading.


Title of book: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________


1)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


2)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



3)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


4)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


5)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



6)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


7)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


8)     I’m wondering/I want to know… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





The Strategy:



Cloud Callout: What could it be?
I am wondering…
I ask questions while I read…
I want to know..


When do you use it: When you are curious and want to know more. When you have questions and new ideas before, during, and after your reading of the text.

Why do you use it: To help you focus on the main ideas of the story.

How do you use it: Ask yourself questions before, during, and after you read.


“I ask myself questions while I read.”


“I am wondering…”


“I want to know…”