Tag Archives: Questioning to increase comprehension

Whose Shoe? by Eve Bunting


Told in rhyming text, a little mouse sets out to ask all of his animal friends if they have lost their shoe that he found in the bamboo. Elephant only wears heels to make her ankles look slim, and hippopotamus hates the mud between his toes, but hasn’t lost any of his shoes. The illustrations by Sergio Ruzzier are very cheerful and support the text well. The story is a great read aloud and will keep your children’s attention. I love the introduction of words in context such as catastrophe, dainty, pursue, and rare.

Schema: finding or losing something

Idiom: Finders Keepers Losers Weepers

Text-to-Self Connections: finding or losing something, throwing things away

Questioning: The main character, a little mouse, asks many animals in his community if the shoe he found belongs to them. Many examples of using the question mark.

Earth Day: The idea of the kangaroo throwing the shoe into the bamboo because it hurt his feet provides a great introduction to a conversation about littering, donating, re-purposing, and making good choices about how to get rid of something we don’t want. The shoe was used by the mouse as a wonderful king size bed.

Story Elements: Problem: The mouse finds a shoe and has been taught that finders keepers is not polite so he sets off to find its owner

Character Development: The main character, a mouse, has a good character in that he wants to do the right thing when he finds the lost shoe.

Making Thinking and Answering Safe for Students

I ran across a great article about helping students feel safe when discussing or answering questions.  The tips would also be good ones to use with our small book club discussions as well as with any class discussion.   Here is a link to the article: No Big Deal: Providing a Classroom Environment Where it is safe to Participate

I am currently reading a book about poverty and brain development in children: Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It,  by Eric Jensen, ASCD, 2009.  His research confirms that one of the things we can do is provide more time for our kids to think and answer without feeling stress.  Here is a quote from the book that I thought went well with this article about giving kids time to respond:

“Developing children need reliable caregivers who offer high predictability, or their brains will typically develop adverse adaptive responses.  Chronic socioeconomic deprivation can create environments that undermine the development of self and the capacity for self-determination and self-efficacy.  Compared with their more affluent peers, low-SES children form more stress-ridden attachments with parents, teachers, and adult caregivers….  They are more likely than well-off children to … receive less positive reinforcement from teachers….” p.8-9, Jenson, 2009.  By providing more time for students to respond and offering positive reinforcement, we can change the adverse response that their brain may typically react with to a response that is positive and pleasant and will help them to develop cognitively.