Introducing the Question Mark

Introducing the Question Mark

Purpose
To become familiar with the question mark.   

Material
Heading that reads: Question Mark.

Question marks from the printed alphabet.

Periods from the printed alphabet

Pencil

Slips of white paper

Language Arts journals and pencils

Presentation
Most Montessori teachers introduce this topic in Year 1 and review it as necessary in subsequent years.     

Invite a small group of students to gather around a mat.

Announce to the students that today they will learn about another punctuation mark.

Ask a student a question. Example: How are you?

Print the question on a blank slip fo paper. Instead of a question mark, however, use a period as end punctuation: Hw are you.

Place the slip of paper on the mat, facing the students. Ask if these words form a sentence Allow the students to respond.

Announce to the students that, yes, these words do form a sentence, because they form a complete thought.    

Inform the students that this sentence has a special name. This the of a sentence is called a question. A question is a sentence that asks for information.

Encourage the students to tell you the name of the mark used at the end of a sentence. Allow them to respond.

Remove the period from the printed alphabet. Show it to the students.  Announce that the period guest the end of most sentences, but a different make, the question mark, goes at the end of a sentence that asks a question.

Remove the question mark from the printed alphabet and show it to the students. Place the question mark at the end of the sentence. Announce that this mark is called a question mark.

Above the question, place the heading: Question Mark. Beide it place the question mark from the printed alphabet,

Discuss common words that are used to begin a question: who, what, where, when, why, how, do, can, may. Write them on slips of paper and place them at the top of the mat to assist students in creating questions.

Pass a slip of blank paper to each student. Invite each student to place his/her question on the mat under the heading, and place a question mark at the end,

Ask the students to write three to five questions in their journals.

Extension
With a partner, make a question chain. Ask your partner a question. Example: What is your middle name? Based on your partner’s answer, ask a question. For example if your partner replies, “My middle name is Yuki,” you can ask a question such as, “Are you named after someone? Or “What does Yuki mean in English?” See how long you can continue. When you can think of no more questions (or if time runs out!) switch roles and let your partner ask you questions.

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