Incorporating Wh- Questions Into Your Writing Instruction

You know my obsession for teaching wh- questions as well as efficient, multi-tasking instruction. We’ve got to make the most of every single minute for our kids and that means stuff lots of great goals into every activity. When working on writing, I love sneaking in some wh- question practice. For kids working on creating sentence, these goals go together like netflix and a tub of ice cream.

Daily Sentence Writing

One of my favorite ways to do this is with a daily sentence writing activity. You can incorporate this as a bell ringer, as part of morning meeting, or as the beginning of your language arts groups. It’s simple to setup and easy to maintain throughout the year. Put up a picture prompt and 3 wh- questions: who, what, and where. I like to make sure that the who, what, and where are moveable. Sentences don’t always follow that order. Sometimes a sentence may say “The girl plays outside” but other times it may say “Outside, the girl is playing.” I have used small dry erase boards that are velcroed to the wall or magnetic or velcro question cards so we can switch it up. You can use photos from google image, from a flashcard set, or (most fun option) pictures you take from your classroom or school. Students LOVE that.

Have students answer the who, what, and where about each picture and then work together to the important additional words to make a complete sentence. The consistent practice of following this same structure each day really helps increase student independence in answer questions and creating a fully formed sentence.

I loved this setup so much that I included it in my Leveled Daily Work Level 2. Students respond each day to the questions based on the picture prompt and then create a sentence. I like to keep a sample from every month throughout the year because the progress is so amazing to see. Consistent structure and practice is so essential for improving these skills!


  1. Where did you get the picture flascards?

  2. How do I order this?


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