Grade: Elementary

#3379. Answering Literal Comprehension Questions

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Feb 16 09:42:11 PST 2005 by Laurel Mitchell (
Central Heritage Society
Ambler Elementary, Pickens, SC, USA
Materials Required: Guided Practice worksheet, Independent Practice worksheet
Activity Time: 50 minutes
Concepts Taught: writing responses in complete sentences

Using "Turn the Question Around" to Answer Literal Comprehension Questions

Grades/Ability Levels: 3-5

R1.5 -- Demonstrate the ability to recall details in texts.

R1.6 - Demonstrate the ability to ask and answer questions about texts.

Objective: The student will be able to write a complete sentence answer to a literal comprehension question, using the strategy Turn the Question Around with 80% accuracy.

Review: strategies taught so far for comprehension questions
1. read the questions first
2. find key words in the question -- find key words in paragraph -- read sentence again

Modeling: First they will read the questions. Then they will read the sentences or paragraph. Next, they will find the answer to the question. Last, they will use TTQA to write an answer in a complete sentence.

TTQA -- Turn the Question Around
- strategy for answering questions
- will answer ?s about what we read
- steps to TTQA
1. read the question
2. think about what the question is asking
3. underline the words in the ? you will use in your answer
4. decide what your answer will be (answer in paragraph -- compreh.)
5. write the answer using some words from the sentence
6. re-read and edit your answer (check for capitalization, punctuation)


Strategies -- Read Question -- Read the sent. - Find answer -- use TTQA (go through steps)
A.) The town of Central had its beginnings with the arrival of the Atlantic and Richmond Air-Line Railroad Company through Pickens County, September 28, 1873.
- How did the city of Central begin?
(The city of Central began with the arrival of the Atlantic and Richmond Air-Line Railroad Company in September 28, 1873.)

Strategies -- Read Question -- Read the para. - Find answer -- use TTQA (go through steps)
It was on that date that the connecting piece in the line going north from Atlanta and south from Charlotte through Central was completed and opened for operation. Since the village was midway between Atlanta and Charlotte, about 133 miles each way, the Railway Company decided to set up its shops here and the place was called Central.
- Why was the town called Central? (The town was called Central because it was halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte.)
- Between what two cities is Central between along the railroad? (The city of Central is between Atlanta and Charlotte along the railroad.)

Strategies -- Read Question -- Read the para. - Find answer -- use TTQA (use steps)
On the north bank of the railroad track in the middle of the town, a long platform was erected for the coal chute where big, heavy dump carts were kept loaded with black shiny coal. At the end of the coal was a great tank of water that seemed to be always overflowing.
- What was loaded into the heavy dump carts? (Black shiny coal was loaded into the heavy dump carts.)
- What was always overflowing? (The great tank of water was always overflowing.)
Guided Practice: Worksheet (GP)
Have students do questions 1-3 with you, as you call on them for responses. Then, have students do 4 and 5 on their own. If they answer both questions correctly, have them do the Independent Practice. If they miss one or two, take them out for more models and guided practice in a small group.
Strategies -- Read Question -- Find answer -- use TTQA

Independent Practice: Worksheet (IP)
The students should work independently for approximately 20 minutes.

Grade the students' responses and award the following points.

Correct answer in response -- 1pt.
Uses TTQA to write answer in sentence -- 2pt.
Has a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence -- 1pt.
Has correct punctuation -- 1pt.

Have student volunteers list a step in the TTQA process. Ask the students when they should use TTQA.

Guided Practice worksheet:
Literal Comprehension

1.) A rat sat on a mat.

a.) Who sat on a mat?

2.) Tom got a car. It was dirty.

b.) What was dirty?

3.) Sam ran in a hut. He sat in a cup. He said, "I am hot." He fell off the cup. He got wet. "I am not hot," he said.

c.) Did Sam run in a hut?

d.) He said, "I am ___________."

e.) Where did Sam sit?

4.) There was a big race. A girl in our class came in first. Her sister came in second. Jill's brother came in third.

f.) Who came in third in the race?

5.) If you don't get all the vitamins you need, you can get bad diseases. Children who don't get any vitamin D may get soft bones. This disease is called rickets.

g.) What can happen if you don't get all the vitamins you need?

Independent Practice worksheet:
Literal Comprehension

Zach was in the first grade. He had two older sisters and a baby brother on the way. It was going to be weird not being the youngest anymore. Sometimes he didn't know if he wanted a baby brother at all. Everyone talked about the baby. They asked if he would look like his father or his mother. Zach felt left out. No one seemed to talk about him as much as they did before his mom became pregnant.
His sisters were very excited about the baby. Sarah was only two and Emily had been five years old when Zach was born. Now that Zach was six, they were ready for another baby. After they told Zach all the fun things he could one day do with his brother he too became excited. One day, when his brother was able, they would play football and baseball together. Zach wanted to teach him how to ride a bike, too. "Maybe having a baby brother isn't so bad after all," Zach thought.

Answer the questions using clues and details from the story.

1.) How many sisters did Zach have?

2.) Were Zach's sisters excited about the new baby?

3.) In the beginning of the story, how did Zach feel about the new baby?

4.) Who might the baby might look like?

5.) How old were Zach's sisters when he was born?

6.) How old was Zach before the baby was born?

7.) What grade was Zach in?

8.) List three things Zach wanted to teach his baby brother.

9.) At the end of the story, how did Zach feel about having a new baby brother?