Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 05-27-2014

Teachers often expect kids to show what they have learned by answering questions in writing. Learning to reuse key words found in those questions will help you to create strong, full sentence answers that earn top marks.


Let's pretend that you have been asked to answer some questions about barn owls using the information found on this webpage. You understood the article but want to do better on the writing part than you usually do.

Just follow these simple steps:

1.   Read the first question. Do you know the answer? If YES, skip to Step 3.

Q.   What do barn owls eat?

2.   If you need to find the answer, go back to the article and search for it.

3.   Use key words from the question to begin your answer. Then complete the sentence with the needed information.

Q.   What do barn owls eat?

A.   Barn owls eat small mammals such as shrews, voles and mice.

4.   Re-read what you wrote to make sure it makes sense. If it doesn't, try to fix it!


Q.   How do the long legs, toes and talons of an owl help it?

A.   The long legs, toes and talons of an owl help it to catch its prey in tall vegetation.

Q.   About how many creatures does a typical Barn Owl eat in an average year?

A.   A typical Barn Owl eats about 1,460 small mammals in a year.