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.
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.
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