Thursday, March 27, 2014

Beginning WH Questions

With some of my lower verbal students, we have just begun working more directly on differentiating between WH questions.  All year, I have been searching for the perfect photo cards to use when teaching WH questions.  I have several different sets of pictures, but nothing that felt comprehensive enough or that had enough variety.

Then I found this great set of photo cards from Lakeshore Learning.  They come in a nice sturdy box, and they are color coded/have nice dividers to keep them organized.  The only downside is that a lot of the kids in the pictures are kind of young (I wish they made more products like these with more pictures of kids the same age as my students!).

I made some quick "who," "what," and "where" visuals for my students using Boardmaker.  Then, I started asking my students all "who" questions while having the "who" visual present.  After a few trials, my students totally got it!  For example, for the card pictured below, I said "Who is riding the bike outside?"

Then we moved onto a set of "what" questions.  This was a little harder, because my kids struggle with labeling verbs (they are much better at labeling nouns...I guess we have another skill we need to target!) However, they were able to say something like "legos" instead of "playing with legos," so they were definitely differentiating between the "who" questions (where they used answers like "boy," "girl," "kids," or "family").

Last, we did a set of "where" questions.  My students were actually the best at these!  When asking any of these questions, I tried to use all of the words to describe the picture except the part I wanted them to answer.  For instance, in my "where" question, I would say "Where is the family running?" (therefore giving them the "who" and "what" answers, but leaving out the "where" component I was looking for).  Over the years, I have found that when teaching beginning question answering, this is important.  If I were to have said "Where are they?"  My kids struggle to give the right answer…instead, they scroll through everything they know about the picture like "family, ocean, water, waves, kids, morning, summer," etc.  Eventually, when making questions more complex, I will ask in a greater variety of ways.  

I am excited to start mixing up these question types as well now that my kids are getting familiar with the Boardmaker visuals.  I'm really hoping these visuals can help my kids be successful with their beginning work on WH questions.  Again, we will fade these out eventually, but I'm hoping the visual nature will help my kids understand the basic concepts!

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