What is the first thing that you do when you see a beautifully wrapped gift? Your mind immediately fills with questions: What is inside? Is it for me? Who did this come from? Will I like it? No one had to tell you to start wondering; instinctually questions pour out.
What would reading and learning be like if readers approached text with the same vivacious curiosity?

Great readers approach texts in the same way they do an unwrapped gift. Great readers innately wonder...what is this book about?, What do I know about this topic?, Will I like it?, What will I learn?

Great readers...
  • use curiosity to propel them forward in the text, predicting and wondering what will come next
  • ask specific questions to guide them towards important ideas. Their questions help them determine importance and interact deeply within and across the text
  • leave the text, with more questions than they began with: How does this fit with what I already know? What does this remind me of? Is there more written by this author or about this subject? I wonder if?
  • see texts as "gifts" and use their ability and capacity to question, "unwrap" and unpack meaning

Many of our students see questions as something done to them by someone else, after reading, and for the purpose assessment. Unfortunately, this has created a generation of great question answerers but very few proficient question askers.

The gift lesson puts a face on the invisible process of self questioning. My hope is that students will see books as "gifts" to their minds and upon seeing the text, act accordingly by letting their questions flow.

As readers of all ages, it is ultimately the questions we ask ourselves that make the act of reading personal, exciting, and transformative. So, I ask can we help our students be better question askers???