Author Topic: The 5W-1H Scan  (Read 5042 times)

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Offline Haider3

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The 5W-1H Scan
« on: May 09, 2010, 07:49:33 PM »
This activity is suitable for beginning to lower intermediate students. The 5W-1H Scan can be used  effectively as a prereading strategy. This activity shows students how to use a prereading strategy to increase their reading comprehension. Through this strategy, students become aware of the questions they should be asking themselves as they read. Teacher can use an egg timer as an motivational device which can sets limit on students reading time, encouraging them to read more fluently.
 Procedure: 1. Locate a newspaper article, or other non fiction text with details that lend themselves to literal questions. Distribute the text to  the students.
2. Ask the students to list six English question words- who, what,  where,  when, why, and how. Introduce these words as the 5w-1H scan.
3. have the students skim the headline of the article, any subheading and photograph captions. Tell them to turn their papers over and distribute scrap paper.
4.Ask the students to form  pairs and write on the scrap paper as many who, what,  when,  why,  and how questions about the article as they can within 10 minutes. Each question must be expressed as a complete sentence (e.g. who won the lottery?).
5.Collect the scrap paper and jot down the questions on the blackboard, asking the students which one are the same as others and should be eliminated.
6. Distinguish between questions at the literal level,  such as when was the lottery?, and those which are more comprehensive, for example, How did the lottery operate?
7. Set the timer for a fixed amount of time, usually 1 minute per question, and ask the students to scan the text to answer the questions.
8. When the bell rings, have the students check their answers with each other.
9. Show the answer on an overhead projector or quickly write them on the blackboard while the students are checking with one another.
10. Ask the students to copy the comprehensive questions from the blackboard into their notebooks and to answer them as home work.
Take up these questions for discussions for the next class.

There is one caveat about text selection, this 5w-1H scan can only work well with nonfiction, especially newspaper and magazine articles.

Source: Shih, M. (1992). Beyond comprehension exercises in the ESL academic reading class. TESOL Quarterly, 26, 289-318.