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The Five Ws

Teach students to ask questions of the text as they read. Encourage their familiarity with the five Ws using a search-and-find exercise with dry erase crayons.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 30 Minutes or Less
  • Directions

    1. Introduce the five Ws (who, what, where, when and how) to the class and discuss why these are important to ask of any text, informational or literary. Tell a familiar fairy tale like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to illustrate examples of each of the five questions.
    2. Hand out Crayola® Dry-Erase Crayons and copies of an age-appropriate text inside clear, acetate sheet protectors. Ask the students to choose a different color to represent each of the five words and to write them in across the top of the sheet those colors.
    3. Prompt the students, as they read the partial text, to circle examples of each the five using the correct corresponding color. Once students have completed reading, invite them to finish the incomplete sentence.
    4. Using dry-erase crayons, invite students to create a scene that illustrates their completion of the story.
    5. Invite students to collaborate in small groups and share their story completion ideas.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

    LA: Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

    LA: Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    VA: Students demonstrate an understanding that creative thinking skills transfer to all aspects of life.

  • Adaptations

    Read detective storybooks such as “Detective LaRue: Letter from the Investigation” by Mark Teague or “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka. Discuss how the characters use the five Ws in their investigations.

    Set up interviews between classmates to learn what they did the night before by asking the 5 Ws. Were they able to gather all the information they needed to paint a complete picture of the events?

    Once students have finished the incomplete sentence and drawn illustrations, encourage them to write the next paragraph in the story. Provide time in the school day for students to share their writing.

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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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