Student-Generated Questions

Upper elementary and above

  • Assess/develop/activate prior knowledge
  • Motivation
  • Set purpose for reading
  • Link new information to prior knowledge
  • Questioning

Strategy steps: 

  1. Direct students’ attention to a picture or illustration from the reading selection.
  2. Ask what they would like to know about the picture.
  3. Have them ask questions that focus on the details in the picture or the overall message of the picture.
  4. Write, or have them write, the questions on the board or on a chart.
  5. Ask what else they want to know about the story or selection and record those questions.
  6. After reading the selection, read the questions they asked and discuss the answers.
  7. If a question is still not answered, students research the topic.


  • Teachers can also get students involved in asking questions about the text by reading aloud or signing the first paragraph or two from a selection and then asking them what else they would like to know about the topic.
  • The teacher can also ask them questions such as: “What would you like to know about __________?” (This may be the main character or a topic.)