It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been working on several new things, including orienting a graduate student intern who is working with me this quarter, developing some new materials, and spring break! I have to catch up on what we’ve been doing in the primary intensive support classroom – WH- QUESTIONS!

For review, the wh-questions are:

  • who – asking about a person, character in a book, or named animal
  • what – asking about a thing or event
  • where – asking about a place
  • when – asking about something time related
  • why – asking for a reason

I target wh-questions multiple times per year, with many of the students on my caseload, because problems with these questions are so common, and understanding these questions is so important! I can’t tell you how many times I ask a student “who is your friend?” and they respond “recess!”

We have been focusing on WHO questions in the primary intensive support classroom for the past few weeks, of course using books!!

The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza – By Philemon Sturges

This adaption of the classic Little Red Hen story is both engaging and funny. The little red hen is making a pizza, but doesn’t have the ingredients! Who will help her? Each page is full of opportunities to ask WHO questions: Who will go to the store to buy flour? Who will help her roll out the dough? Who will help her put on toppings? Who will help her eat the pizza?

After the story, we did a worksheet where the kids answered questions about the story, and either wrote or drew their answers.

Click here for the worksheet. Click here for the directions.

The Tortoise and the Hare – adapted by Janet Stevens

This retelling of a classic fable was another perfect opportunity to ask WHO questions, since most of the questions have only two possible answers – it’s either the turtle or the rabbit! I used a simple visual of a turtle and a rabbit to help cue the students in to possible answers for my questions (Who ran fast? Who ran slow? Who was rude? Who won the race?). After the story we made masks of either a tortoise or a hare, with the students choosing WHO they wanted to be! The mask was a paper plate with the center cut out, colored either a turtle color or a rabbit color, with ears glued on. So easy! But the kids loved the activity, and it got them answering WHO questions!

(Please don’t judge me for my turtle ears… They don’t actually have external ears, but it made for such a good activity!)

Click here for the tortoise/hare visual. Click here for the activity directions. Click here for the rabbit ear and turtle ear templates.

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