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.

"A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb