Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Let's Hear What You Know: Collaborative Discussion and Reading of A Tale of Two Cities (Day 1 of 2) - Section 2: Numbered Heads Together Discussion


Today's lesson had the potential to be good. However, the students were very surface level in their initial responses to the discussion questions. When this happens, I usually assume one of two things is happening. Either they haven't read and can't answer the question or the question is too complicated and I need to rephrase it.

I've been thinking a lot recently about the kinds of questions I ask in class and whether they are questions that will promote analytical thinking. It is easier for me to ask leading questions that point to certain interpretations of the text, but that isn't as useful for my students as they struggle to interpret this difficult text.

Today's issues seem to stem from the questions I was asking, specifically the question about Dickens' style and why he is using the syntax and diction that he is using. After listening to them struggle to answer the question with textual support, I realized that we might not have read into the book long enough to really answer that question. We also might need to read some literary criticism to see what smart people say about his style. I told them that I recognized my need to rephrase the question and said that I wanted them to keep thinking about this idea as I will return to the question later in our reading.

  Pushing them to deeper discourse
  Discourse and Questioning: Pushing them to deeper discourse
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Let's Hear What You Know: Collaborative Discussion and Reading of A Tale of Two Cities (Day 1 of 2)

Unit 8: Literary: Analysis of Plot and Character Development in A Tale of Two Cities
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT participate effectively in collaborative discussions by bringing textual support and higher level interpretive thinking to small group and whole class discussion of A Tale of Two Cities.

Big Idea: Bringing our discussion of A Tale of Two Cities to a higher level of discourse through analytical questioning and dialogue.

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