Teach Students How to Restate the Question

Restating the question is an important writing skill, yet many students struggle with it.  I've developed a fun and colorful strategy that has helped my students become more proficient writers.  

All you need to teach this strategy is a whiteboard and two different colored markers!  I start with very simple questions, since at this point, I want my students to focus on the language, not necessarily the content.  This restating strategy has worked wonders for my English Language Learners, since it's a visual guide to structuring a sentence.  Color and number coding are such effective strategies to teach!

First we read the question, then we brainstorm how to restate by underlining and placing numbers above each word.  Students can then follow the numbers to build their sentence.  Keeping them color coded and underlined helps to clear up confusion.  

I model the strategy out loud, then on the whiteboard, and then I have students work in partners to practice restating.  If you'd like to try it with your class, click the link to download this free restating guide!

I hope this helps your students master restating the question!


  1. Can you check the link for the restating guide? I can't get it to pull up.

    Thanks for the great ideas!!!

    1. Hi Megan, Thanks for letting me know! It should be fixed now.

  2. Super helpful!!!! Thanks for the advice.Very informative tips thanks for sharing.

  3. Maria-
    Love this resource however am unsure about how to number the words. Do you know them for the student?

    1. Hi! You can number the words based on how you want the student to answer. For example, the question Who is the president? would be numbered 1. the 2. president 3 is. I hope that helps!


Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it.

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