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Asking Good Questions

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early language thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
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Asking Good Questions

Purpose/Skills
  • To use language expressively
  • To practice asking questions
  • To build vocabulary

Materials
Fire fighter's hat or other fire fighter props

Vocabulary
question
describe

Literature Suggestion
Read A Trip to the Firehouse by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, or any nonfiction book about fire fighters.

Warm-Up
  • Read the book you have chosen.
  • Invite children to talk about this real firehouse.
  • Help them notice that the pictures in the book are photographs of real people.

Procedure

  • Put on a fire fighter's hat and any other fire fighter props you have.
  • Explain that you are pretending to be a fire fighter.
  • Invite children to ask you questions about what it is like to be a fire fighter.
  • Model questions such as: Fire fighter, why do you go down the pole to get to the fire truck? or Why do you use a ladder? To prompt questions, show children the book illustrations again and mention fire fighters' gear, trucks, or life at the firehouse.
  • If children ask questions you cannot answer, tell them you don't know the answers and have the children make guesses. (You may also want to write to a fire company to pose the questions. If so, read your letter aloud to the children before sending it. If you can visit a local firehouse, the children can ask the questions themselves.)

Enrichment
Invite the children to pretend to be fire fighters and work together in small groups to put out a fire. Take this opportunity to talk about the difference between real facts and make-believe.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child asks appropriate questions about fire fighters and firehouses.
  • In Process - Child has difficulty thinking of appropriate questions and asking them in a way that can be understood easily.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child listens to the book, but does not yet participate in a discussion, does not yet attempt to ask a question, or speaks inaudibly.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.