Johns Hopkins University Secondary Support Initiative (JHUSSI)  

ASK-IT Strategy



Purpose of Strategy/Approach


Use the acronym mnemonic ASK-IT to increase reading comprehension and recall of content area materials in complex text through active engagement with the text by the students creating questions in their own minds about the text, predicting the answers to those questions, and then looking for the answers as they read the text.


Rationale of Lesson


Students will compare the themes in poetry by poets (Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, William Waring Cuney, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Melvin B. Tolson, and Jean Toomer) from the Harlem Renaissance through a variety of print, non-print, electronic, and other media to develop their ability to comprehend and critically interpret the poetry’s significance from a historical and or cultural context.


Acknowledgment of Content Expert and Consultants


Pam Mayette and Dr. Mary Ellen Beatty-O’Ferrall


  • ASK-IT slide
  • ASK-IT poster (at least one)
  • copies of ASK-IT that can fit on an index card
  • index cards
  • glue sticks
  • tape
  • overhead projector or computer with projector
  • tape recorders (optional)
  • English journals (optional)

References and Web Resources


ASK-IT Strategy References and Web Resources