When I was teaching fifth grade, I used a Blooms Taxonomy wheel to help me create open-ended questions for our literature circles, guided reading and independent reading. The kids liked the challenge of the harder questions and the variety of options (instead of just writing about what happened, they could draw a picture with a short caption, create a short video, have a conversation with the narrator or one of the main characters, create an alternate ending...). Now, years later, a Blooms Taxonomy wheel is aligned with the Common Core Standards, for children as young as those in Kindergarden.
Today I decided to employ the same concept with my kidabunks during our read alouds. I found these adorable cards at Dragonflies in First. I printed them out, colored each set of questions a different color, punched a hole and put it on a ring. I definitely recommend printing these out on various colors of card stock, to make them more durable. We've read The Three Little Pigs so many times, it's almost memorized so I knew this would be a great story to try with the cards.
We took out our puppets, our book and I held the cards. Before we read the story, I tried out a few of the Knowledge questions:
Me "Who are the characters in the story?"
Kiddies "The three little pigs." (they were on the cover, the wolf wasn't)
Me "Is there anyone else in the story?"
Wild One "Yes! The Big - Bad - Wolf!"
Me "What happens first in the story?"
Little Miss "The three pigs say goodbye to their mom and dad."
Me "What happens next?"
Wild One "The Big Bad Wolf blows down the houses."
Me "What happens before the wolf blows down the houses?"
Little Miss "The little piggies build their houses."
Me "Which house gets built first?" "...second?" "...third?"
Next, Wild One "read" the story. Then, I read and paused to ask the following questions:
"Describe the Big Bad Wolf."
"What are the differences between the straw house and the brick house?"
"If you could ask one of the characters a question, what would it be?
"Explain what part of the story was most exciting."
"Explain what part was the saddest."
Sometimes I asked a question, other times I had one of the three pigs or the wolf ask a question. The kidabunks always eagerly responded. These cards are wonderful for pausing during reading to think about what we just read, a skill that they will be using for the rest of their lives. Before using these cards, I kept asking the same type of questions: "why do you think so and so is sad?" or "how would you feel?" or "what would you have done?" It's so interesting that even at their young age, that they are able to work on something that is typically viewed as a more developed concept.
I love how much fun this is. I also love that they don't realize they are learning, because we are staying true to our philosophy "learning through play is the best way".