Understanding question words using stories
Why is this important?
Children need to be able to process a variety of question words in a range of different situations. Questions are a way of finding out what children know/can remember about an activity/event, etc. and also a means of encouraging reflection and thinking skills.
What to do
- Read a simple story together. Choose favourite books, about animals perhaps, or favourite characters (e.g. ‘Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs’).*
- Ask questions about the story (e.g. for ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’, ask: ‘Where did the dwarves go to work?’ ‘What were the dwarves digging for?’ ‘Why did Snow White go to sleep?’ ‘Who gave Snow White the poisonous apple?’ 'How did the dwarves feel when Snow White went to sleep?’)
- If the child doesn’t answer or answers inappropriately, try: Offering a choice of answers (e.g. ‘Where did the dwarves go to work? Was it in a shop or down the mine?’). Re-read part of the story where the answer is and then repeat the question.