I always tell students, when practicing the strategy of questioning, that ‘good readers start asking questions even before they start reading’ Book covers are a great way to get your students thinking and wondering about a story. There are some books that invite readers to wonder; captivating illustrations that stimulate our thinking, our imagination and our curiosity. One look at the cover and questions come tumbling out. Below are my top 10 books to use for questioning – the first five are new releases and the remaining five are old favorites. I guarantee, if you hold up one of these books and ask your students, ‘What are you wondering?” you will be amazed at what happens!
(Just for a change, rather than summarizing each book, I have included authentic student-asked questions for each. You will just have to read the books yourself to find the answers!)
1. The Whale – Ethan Murrow
What are they looking at? Where are they? Do they know where the whale is? Are they in a boat or on land? Are they brother and sister or friends? Are they scared? Is the whale coming closer?
2. The Bear and the Piano – David Litchfield
Does the bear know how to play the piano? How long has the piano been sitting there? Is the bear going to play a sad song or a jazzy one? Are they on a stage? Is this a pretend play or is it real? Is this a magical piano? Do any other animals know there is a piano out there?
3. The Night Gardener – The Fan Brothers
Who is that boy? Is he the gardener? How old is he? Is that owl going to come to life? How did the tree get that way? Does the tree only look like that at night? Can the tree owl talk? Can it fly? Is the boy telling the owl a secret?
4. The Parachute – Danny Parker
Is that a boy or a girl? What is he looking at? Where is the bottom? Is that a tree house? How tall is that ladder? Is he stuck? Does he have the parachute or does he need one? How is he going to get down? Is he scared to be so high up or does he like it up there?
5. The Typewriter – Bill Thomson
What is that? Why is the bee so big? Is that a real bee or kind of a fake one? What is that black thing? Is that a briefcase? Is that a clown bee? Is that kind of one of those bee rides?
6. Phileas’s Fortune: A Story About Self-Expression – Agnes de Lestrade
Is that a boy or a girl? What is the fortune? What is that shadow ? What is coming out of that mountain? Is that a horn? What’s coming out of that horn? What is in her hand? Is she going to try to catch those things? Where does she live?
6. June 29, 1999 – David Wiesner
What’s in those baskets? Why are the plants flying? Hey – that’s my birthday! How long have they been in the air for? How big are those balloons? Is someone controlling them? Where are they going? How many balloons are there?
7. The Wretched Stone – Chris Van Allsburg
Who is that guy? Is he flying or jumping? Is he dreaming or really happening like that? Is he magic? What is a wretched stone? What does wretched mean? Is he going to fall in the water? Is someone going to catch him? Is he scared?
8. Mr. Bear and the Bear – Frances Thomas
Who is Mr. Bear? Is this Mr. Bear or the bear? Is this bear wild and dangerous? What is the bear looking at? Does the bear turn into Mr. Bear? Is the bear mad or sad?
9. Two Frogs – Chris Wormell
What’s going on with these two guys? I mean frogs but they kind of look like guys. Is that one gonna hit the other one with that stick? Why is one of them smiling and then the other one looks kind of scared? Do they know each other? How do frogs float like that like they are just kind of hanging there? Is that the bully frog?
10. The Egg – M.P. Robertson
What’s in that egg? Does his mom know there is a gigantic egg in his room? Is the boy reading to the egg or just reading to his quiet self? How long does the boy have to sit on the egg? Is it going to hatch soon? Where did the egg come from? What book is he reading?
What are your favorite books to inspire “COVER QUESTIONS”?
Thanks for stopping by! Which books have caught your eye?