Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Generating Questions

by Erika Hernandez



Lesson Plan Template: LIST 4373

Comprehension: Generating Questions Strategy


Lesson Overview


Comprehension: Generating Questions Strategy

Focus  of Lesson (a phrase or sentence)

Using the strategy of generate questions from the text


Objectives (3-5) Use Verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy  ‘The learner will…’


  • During a read aloud the fourth graders will verbally pose questions about the text, before during and after reading. Each child must pose at least one question to the class.


  • After the read aloud Students will in pairs read a short story and generate questions on a sticky note. Students must come up with at least six questions related to the story.


·        After the read aloud fourth graders will use their own book and compose their own think aloud statements including at least four questions.


Rationale for learning


Generating questions is a wonderful strategy that can help students better understand complicated text. Using the strategy for generating questions students will spontaneously ask questions before, after, and during the text. This strategy is important because “Readers determine whether the answers to their questions can be found in the text or whether they will need to infer the answer from the text”, this helps readers activate and organize their thinking and learning.


Student Assessment


  • Students will be assessed based on the questions they generate during our read aloud
  • After the class read aloud students will practice in pairs generating questions on sticky noted under teacher observation.
  • Finally students will be asked to generate at least four accurate questions over their own texts on the sheet provided.


Grade Level


 FORMCHECKBOX   PK/Kindergarten












Materials and Resources Required for Lesson

Books:     Wangari’s Trees of Peace A True Story from Africa By: Jeanette Winter

                Reading level ages 4-8

·         Hand out (24 copies)



  • Short books of all sorts
  • Sticky notes
  • Pencils
  • Light bulb cut outs
  • Popsicle stick
  • Glue




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


§110.15. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 4, Beginning with School Year 2009-2010.


(29) 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.


Figure: 19 TAC §110.10(b)

Fourth Grade (§110.15 English Language Arts and Reading)


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:

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

(C) monitor and adjust comprehension (e.g., using background knowledge, creating sensory images, re-reading a portion aloud, generating questions)



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


·        Do you every wonder why things are do you every question things but don’t say them out loud?

·        When you read for example, do you ever wonder why things are going on as you read?

·        Explain about the strategy and why it is important

·        Today were going to talk out loud about every thought that comes to mind about the text while reading it

·        I will first model for you all how it is done and give you to go ahead to do the same half way into the book.

·         Demonstrate to students how to hold the light bulb up is they have generated a question




Instruction: “I do, we do, you do”


I Do

“We are going to do an activity that will help you become better readers using a strategy called generating questions. Generating questions when reading will help you better understand what the author is trying to tell us. Now I am going to model how it id done and half way through the book you will all take over”

·        Explain that if they generate a question during the read aloud to just hold the light bulb up and share their question.


·        Explain that when you generate questions you should start with “I wonder why . . .?



1.   I wonder why the story is called Wangari’s Trees of Peace?

I also wonder how these trees are going to bring peace?




2.   I’m wondering why is Wangari watching the birds, I wonder if they were they being noisy? I wonder if they are doing something strange?

(PAGE 2)


3.   I why is Wangari is helping harvest, is she a farmer? I wonder, are her family farmers?

(page 3)


4.   I wonder why the author is comparing Wangari’s height to forest trees.

I wonder why Wangari went all of the way to America to go to school

(page 4)


5.   I wonder why Wangari returned to Kenya after finishing her studies?

I wonder if it is her first time back sence she left

I wonder if she came back to visit or work?

I wonder what she studied in school?

I also wonder why all of the trees are gone?

(Page 5)


6.   I wonder why the women are hauling firewood?

I wonder where they are taking the firewood?

I’m also wondering what happened to the crops?

(Page 6)


7.   I’m wondering why so much construction is taking place?

(Page 7)


8.   I wonder how long it is going to take for those trees to grow back?

(Page 8)


We Do


  • By holding up the light bulb, as a class students will generate more  questions
  • Provide more scaffolding for students if needed


(More practice)

  • After the read aloud modeling students will be assigned a partner and in pairs they will help each other generate questions and the teacher observes and helps.


You Do


  • Students will independently read a short story on their own and generate at least four questions starting with “I wonder why. . .?” on a sheet of paper provided




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



Students with challenges in literacy


1. Increase modeling

2. Have these students sit closer to the teacher

3. Offer scaffolding


English Language Learners (ELL)

1. Use gestures and a clear voice

2. Repeat directions

3. Use visuals

Early finishers and/or students who need enrichment

1. Peer tutoring

2. Ask them to practice the skill by book marking another story with thoughts

3. Journal writing over this strategy, why it is important, if they think its effective and why?


References and Internet Resources  (cite APA style)


Lexington Elementary School, Initials. (2007). Lexington school library. Retrieved from