Reflection: Complex Tasks Kenny & the Dragon Day Two: Chapter 2 & Chapter 3 - Section 2: Review of Yesterday's Literature


I knew when I looked at my objectives for this particular literature unit I wanted to include more comprehension work than just summary writing.  In addition  to writing abridged summaries, the students are answering three multiple choice questions per chapter.  

Often times, multiple choice questions are written so that the reader can easily find and put their finger on the answer. Sometimes students can just skim and find an answer without reading at all, or figure it out from the question and answer choices!  

I try (again, I say I try :) to write questions that make my students have to think critically about the text when working with literature.  When writing a question, I ask myself, "Does a student need a deep understanding of the text to answer this question?". "Do they have to provide evidence from the text, and/or their own ideas to defend an answer?"  If I answer yes, I'm happy with the question.  However, this takes time and practice.  I like to keep a copy of the CCSS out for reference while writing questions, too, to make sure I'm covering particular standards.

For example, I try to stay away from questions like this:

What kind of books did the narrator say Kenny likes to read?

What is the name of the town that the story takes place?

These questions don't require the students to think critically about the text.  They are "right there" and don't require students to use ideas in the text and integrate their own schema.

I also try to include questions with multiple answers.  This was new for my third graders this year - the idea that a question could have more than one answer.  It's taken some practice to get them to locate key words within a question to identify if the question asks for multiple answers.  We've also worked quite a bit with A and B questions, where A asks a question that is answered, and B is the evidence for the answer provided in A.  Well written questions also provide good discussion starters for whole class, small groups, and pairs of students.  Comprehension shouldn't be a quiet thing, rather something that is talked about, interacted with, and debated.


  Writing Multiple Choice Questions
  Complex Tasks: Writing Multiple Choice Questions
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Kenny & the Dragon Day Two: Chapter 2 & Chapter 3

Unit 6: Ancient Greece, Dragons, Gods, and Giants!
Lesson 12 of 18

Objective: SWBAT read grade level literature, and write an abridged summary for each chapter showing comprehension of the most important events, character, and summary information in a novel. SWBAT create an engaging audio recording and visual display of one of their abridged summaries.

Big Idea: Read literature, write abridged summaries, and answer comprehension questions

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English / Language Arts, comprehension question, novel, grammar, third grade, rubric, Summary Writing, technology, illustration, audio recording, Kenny & the Dragon, Kenny and the Dragon, abridged summary, Camtasia
  55 minutes
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