Reading notebook | GEN 104 | Ashford University


Week 1 Reading Notebook

Questioning Activity


This activity helps you practice questioning by offering examples of the kinds of questions you might ask yourself before, during, and after reading. It also allows you to create your own questions for reading. You will practice answering these questions using a reading passage. It is recommended you have the reading passage open on your computer or printed out for you to refer to as you work on this notebook.



STEP ONE, Preview: This reading passage is about the Harry Potter book series. Preview the text by skimming the introduction and conclusion below to identify the main idea. Remember, you are just skimming in this step, not reading the entire passage.




Harry   Potter (1997-2007)

A seven-book fantasy   series by J. K. (Joanne) Rowling (1965–), which has a credible claim to be   the most successful children’s book series of all time. Formally   conventional, but well plotted and richly imagined, it has been criticized in   some quarters for derivative content and lacklustre prose, while also   credited with turning millions of children on to the pleasures of   reading—though the books’ enthusiastic readers and champions massively,   vastly outnumber their handful of critics.





   J. K. Rowling has also written a number of short books associated with   Harry’s world: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001), Quidditch   through the Ages (2001), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008), the sales   for all of these benefiting charities that Rowling supports. After a long   development period, 2012 saw the full public launch of ‘Pottermore’, an   official website with unpublished material, downloadable e-books, etc. The   first fully illustrated editions of the original series were announced in   2013 (with publication scheduled for 2015), with Jim Kay was selected to   produce the first fully illustrated editions of the series, with book one   appearing in 2015. Characters from Harry Potter’s world returned in 2016 in a   spectacular London stage show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (co-written   by Jack Thorne (in collaboration with Rowling)), set nineteen years after the   end of the main series.

Source: Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature   (2015)

STEP TWO, Stop and Think: Stop and answer these questions before reading the entire passage.

1. What do you already know about this text?

2. What are you hoping to learn from reading this text?

3. What feelings or biases do you have toward this text?

4. Write down one or more additional questions that you would like to ask before reading the text and answer them below. (Tip: Questions to ask before reading can address what you know or want to know about the topic, how you feel about the topic, what you think the text is about based on your preconceptions, and what your purpose is for reading the text).



STEP THREE, Read: Now, read the full text and while you read through the text, complete the following activities.

Activity 1: As you read, ask yourself questions to clarify meaning. Begin your questions with who, what, when, where, or how. For example, “How many copies of Harry Potter books have been sold?” Normally, you would write these questions in the margins or in a notebook. For this activity, write down at least one of your questions and answers below.

Activity 2: As you read, monitor your thoughts about and understanding of what you are reading by creating “statements” like “I think,” “I like,” “I agree,” “I don’t understand,” and “I was confused by.” For example, “I don’t understand why these books would cause controversy.” Normally, you would write these statements in the margins or in a notebook. For this activity, write down at least one of your statements below.

STEP FOUR, Review and Reflect: Review the text and complete these statements after reading the passage.

1. After reading the passage, I learned…

2. Something I already knew is ….

3. This passage reminds me of…

4. I was confused by…. (this could be a word, phrase, piece of information, etc.)

5. A lingering question I have is …

6. Something more I would like to know is …

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