Restating the Question

repeating arrows

Purpose: Restating a question shows that you heard the question correctly and helps you remember the question. Restating is also an effective communication skill that helps listeners and writers offer clarification, as listed in the Transitions Integration Framework on page 8.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: a reading text with questions to answer both before and after reading, such as this one, large index cards or paper to create word cards, magnets or painter’s tape

Prep: Create a word card for each word in the pre-reading questions


1.      Do some pre-reading activities to introduce the reading text, such as making predictions based on the pictures and the title and reviewing vocabulary.

2.     Put the word cards for the pre-reading questions on the board with painter’s tape or magnets (note: painter’s tape is easy to remove from the board and reuse a few times). Leave space under each question for an answer.

3.     Read the questions aloud with the student(s) a couple times.

4.     Elicit an answer to the first pre-reading question. In the example text this question is “How many hours a day do you watch TV?” Most likely the student will give a short answer, such as, “Three.” Write the answer under the question, leaving space for some word cards around the answer.

5.     Move the content word cards from the question and place them around the short answer to restate the question in the answer, for example, [watch] [TV] three [hours] [a] [day]. If needed, elicit any missing words such as I and write them in.

6.     Explain to the student(s) that repeating the words from the question helps you remember the question and shows that you read it correctly.

7.     Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other pre-reading questions, eliciting from the student(s) which question words should be moved to the answer.

8.     Read the text a few times, perhaps aloud while the student(s) listens, then read a line as the student(s) repeats, then silently as individuals.

9.     The student(s) circles the words in the after-reading questions that they will repeat in their answers.

The student(s) answers the after-reading questions by restating the questions in their answers. 

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