Asking Questions with Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie

This month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share resources to help parents explicitly teach their child comprehension strategies when reading.  Good readers use these strategies without even thinking about it.  It is our job as parents and educators to teach our children how to use these strategies so that they become second nature to them as they read independently.

Asking Questions

Asking questions as one reads, allows the reader to clarify points of confusion, or help the story move forward.  Explicitly modeling how to ask questions for your child

Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie is a great book to model asking questions.  A cat shows up one night to the house where Elizabeth and Sarah live.  They take him in, feed him, love him and name him Charlie.  Every morning though, he disappears into the woods.   One night, he doesn’t return and Sarah and Elizabeth become worried.  They look for him and find a surprise.

As you read aloud, ask:

  • Where does Charlie come from?
  • Where does Charlie go every morning?
  • What is he doing when he’s gone?

If you have post-it notes, ask your child to mark in the book when he comes across the answers to these questions.  Clarify any other questions he may have about the story.  Ask if he wonders about anything else.

Use your read aloud time to sneak in some comprehension strategy lessons without missing a beat.  The likelihood is that you will discuss the book anyway, so make your discussion a bit more focused and your child will begin to learn a few strategies as you model them.  As you read aloud other books to your child, stop and ask questions (to clarify the text or to move the story forward).

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.


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4 Responses to “Asking Questions with Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie”

  1. Tweets that mention Asking Questions with Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie « Literacy Toolbox -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawn Little, Dawn Little. Dawn Little said: Model for Children How to Ask Questions with Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie: #literacy #compstrategies […]

  2. TinyReader Says:

    When your little one has questions, encourage her to posit a probable answer, saying, “Maybe it could be…” or “Perhaps…” Doing this will help her make predictions and develop theories of her own, then as you read on she can hold those questions and possible answers in mind to confirm/revise her predictions!

  3. Julie Niles Petersen Says:

    We also need to let students know that it is okay to ask questions that do not have definite answers. Many struggling readers I worked with had a lot of difficulty with this. Great wonders lead to deeper thinking which leads to making connections which leads to better understanding.

  4. Julie Niles Petersen Says:

    I like TinyReaders’ suggestion about “probable answers” (and confirmation/rejections.) The last year I worked with struggling readers, I tried to get them to probe their thinking by asking, “Is that possible?” If it was possible, I then asked them, “Is it likely or unlikely?” Then came, “Highly likely/unlikely or somewhat likely/unlikely?” I am not sure why I didn’t use the word, “probable.” Perhaps it was because they just seemed to have so much difficulty with the concept at first. Needless to say, I really think these questions helped them become better thinkers which is a requirement for good reading comprehension. At the beginning of the year, most of their questions/answers were highly improbable. By the end of the year, they came up with much more probable ones… and they took much delight in these discussions, too!

    Overall, TinyReader, if there was a “like” button, I would definitely “like” your answer. Great points!!!!!

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