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Questioning the text is a most important skill! When you read a fabulous story, like Connell's, you have to ask yourself, "Why would a very famous big game hunter be hunted by another human?" If you continue to read on and keep asking that important question, the text will draw you to the answer; "Because sometimes we become what we live." Why a scary, ominous castle? (That indicates something is very wrong.) Why such aristocratic etiquette in a remote place? (That indicates things aren't what they appear.) Why is this story being narrated by a third person? We know that 3rd person gives the author room to make dramatic changes easily because we aren't tied to a character. (That indicates that there will be severe changes in the story; for instance, Zaroff the hunter, becomes the hunted.) Keep asking those questions! The author has all of the answers. All you have to do is find them!
Questioning the text is much like it sounds. As you read, you should form questions about what you are reading. When you do this, you have a focus for your reading. For example, if you read the first few paragraphs of The Most Dangerous Game, you might question how the island that is being described will be important to the story. Then, when Rainsford gets stranded in the water and washes up to the island, you'll know. You will have been looking for the answer, and you will connect this moment of the story - Rainsford coming to this island - with the description you've already been given - that is suspected to be haunted and a place of danger.
Good readers ask questions when they read because it helps them understand what they're reading. I will often read aloud to my students and do 'think alouds'. Within these think alouds I will ask questions to myself and answer what I think the author meant or why a certain character did this or that. When students are confused about text, asking questions as they read help them to clear up the confusion and also keeps them thinking about the ideas in the story.
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