An Examination of Low-Level Questions in Informational Read Alouds

Elizabeth Hale and James S. Kim, Providing Platforms: An Examination of Low-Level Questions in Informational Read Alouds, The Elementary School Journal 120, no. 4 (June 2020): 555-579.

This study examined teachers’ spontaneous low-level comprehension questions in script-supported informational read alouds, with a secondary analysis on the relationship between low- and high-level comprehension questions. Participants included 34 teachers and 824 third-grade students. Results revealed notable variation in the type and function of low-level questions, with some offering support for high-level questions or content learning. Although the predominance of low-level questioning patterns continues to be a challenge in many elementary classrooms, this study’s findings suggest some low-level questions play important, complementary functions in text discussions, particularly with informational text.

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl