The Question Formulation Technique is a six-step process which helps students develop several questions in order to drive the inquiry when reading or researching about a topic. The six steps are:
Sharing a Thought-Provoking Question Focus (QFocus) such as an image, video, or text
Establishing the Rules for Producing Questions
Establishing Next Steps
Reflection on the Process
A Newsela Text Set can present students with a Question Focus for them to then to generate their own questions. Once the rules are established, students can use the annotation feature in Newsela to create questions about the text. The students can then share out these questions with the class in order to categorize and prioritize them and establish next steps. When students know how to ask their own questions, they take greater ownership of their own learning.
The 5E Model of Scientific Instruction supports teachers in implementing guided inquiry-based science instruction using a clear formula. This prescribed method is inquiry-based and provides the teacher with a template for 5 phases of instruction. The five phases are Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. As the teacher guides students through the inquiry process using the 5 Es, students can ask their own questions and find ways to investigate these questions. Through this process, students can learn skills that enable them to discover strategies for designing investigations and engaging in research. This strategy also supports students to learn to think critically using an inquiry-based approach.
The Frayer model is a graphic organizer for building student vocabulary in all subject areas. This technique requires students to define target vocabulary and apply their knowledge by generating examples and non-examples, giving characteristics, and/or drawing a picture to illustrate the meaning of the word. Teachers can help students to apply some of the key practices of vocabulary acquisition such as contextualizing terms, actively processing information, and experiencing multiple exposures to terms by using the Frayer model strategy.
Character TWAs help students identify and reveal the personality of a character. This strategy supports students to identify and become familiar with the concept of a character's thoughts, words, and actions while reading a Newsela article. Through this strategy, students will also begin to understand that TWAs give insight to what the character did in their life and why it is significant. Teachers can also check students' mastery of TWAs with the graphic organizer students fill out as they read.
In this strategy, students select a scientific concept to learn about by reading Newsela articles or Text Sets as their source for research. They can then organize their research into a presentation such as a Ted Talk that they can share with their peers. This strategy can be used to supplement a science class curriculum or to allow a student to research a scientific concept that they are interested in. The student-centered strategy supports students to have ownership and choice in the texts and topics they want to research in order to learn science concepts and applications, and it also supports students to gain expertise in researching, annotating, and presenting to their peers.
When students are thoughtful, reflective readers, their comprehension and textual analysis improve. Metacognition is a three-part process. To be successful thinkers, students must: develop a plan before reading, monitor their understanding of text and use “fix-up” strategies when meaning breaks down, and evaluate their thinking after reading. By taking the time to name and explicitly teach metacognition using annotation techniques and writing prompts, teachers ensure rich conversations around Newsela texts throughout the school year.
This strategy focuses on the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices standard #6 that asks them to construct explanations and to design solutions. To build their knowledge about the science or engineering topic, students engage in research by reading Newsela texts or a Text Set using a guided Newsela quest. Then, students construct their own explanations about the science or engineering topic, as well as apply standard explanations they learn about from reading Newsela texts. Once students have constructed an explanation of the topic they have researched, they can then design solutions in order to effect change.
Science often involves the construction and use of a wide variety of models and simulations to help develop explanations about natural phenomena. Models make it possible to go beyond observables and imagine a world not yet seen. They also enable predictions of the form “if... then... therefore” to be made in order to test hypothetical explanations. The purpose of this strategy is to engage students in the practice of researching topics using Newsela texts and then developing models to explain those topics and test hypothetical explanations. This strategy aligns to the NGSS Science & Engineering Practice #2 that focuses on Developing and Using Models to Understand Change.
In this strategy, students learn how to use mathematics media (graphs, charts, and infographics) from Newsela texts or Text Sets to represent physical variables and their relationships and to make quantitative predictions and conclusions. Learning how to interpret graphs, charts, and infographics allows students to bring math and engineering together to accomplish investigations and build models. This strategy supports students to sharpen the practice of analyzing and interpreting math media, which can enhance many other core subjects whose texts also often have graphs and infographics embedded in them.
All inquiry begins with an observation. Observations often stimulate "why" questions. But meaningful inquiry doesn’t begin until the "why" question is transformed into an inference. An inference is not a guess; rather, it is an explanation based directly on observations, and it can be changed or refined as more information becomes available to the observer. In this strategy, students will read Newsela texts or Text Sets to help them to form a hypothesis (a prediction about the outcome of an experiment) about a topic after making an informed inference (a conclusion based on observations and prior knowledge) based on their research from the reading. Students will then use the Newsela Write Prompt to write a hypothesis that answers the research question using the "If …. Then … because (reasons 1, 2, and 3)" framework.