The purpose of shared inquiry discussion is to deepen students' knowledge about text. On day one of this two part lesson, I introduce students to the concept of becoming inquisitive learners. I introduce my Shared Inquiry Flipchart to discuss the goal of this two day activity and steps to reach that goal. Students use a rubric to measure their progress towards that goal.
A major part of the flipchart discusses interpretive questions as having more than one correct answer. Answering these questions using text-based evidence incorporates the shift to Common Core.
Today's story is entitled "The Jade Stone". It is a Chinese folk tale told by Caryn Yacowitz from the Junior Great Book series. Since our class has done some research on China, we discussed background information about culture and history. I tell the class that we will read this story twice. Then, I distribute post its for note taking during our first reading.
I chose to read aloud to my students for the first reading, as they follow along in their books. Prior to reading, I ask students to write down on Post-It Notes what they wonder about as we read this story. They are to place their post its on the page using the following codes:
+ something important
? something they are confused about
! something that they feel strongly about
Next to the codes, students are to write a word, phrase, or sentence that indicate that relates to the text. For example, "+ Chan Lo carves what he dreams about" will be written on a post it and posted on the page that relates to this sentence.
Once the note taking from the first reading is complete, I ask students to read the story a second time silently. During the second reading, I ask students to focus on the parts of the story they marked as puzzling and/or important. I ask student to elaborate and cite examples from text that cause them to have the reactions they marked. The second reading asks students to be more detailed in their note taking. The second reading leads students to delve even deeper into the text because they have to search for more details in order to elaborate on areas they find puzzling or important. In other words, students must cite examples from text in their questions in order to develop more specific questions. This is the process that we followed during a previous Introductory Shared Inquiry Lesson.
At this age group, I feel that it is important to model by reading aloud and to make sure students comprehend the story first. Then, students are more focused on their "wonderings" or "what they want to know", similar to a KWL chart. The notes are to mark areas within the text that make students wonder about something or want to know more about something from the first reading.
During their Second Reading discussions, students are to convert their wonderings into interpretive questions. Students work in pairs to discuss ways to phrase their wondering into interpretive questions and write it on a different color sticky notes to place on the same page. The Common Core shift to the staircase of complexity requires deep analysis of text through thought provoking questions that lead to increased comprehension.
I use a Partner Rubric for students to self-assess and assess their partner's performance. Students use the rubric as a guideline on the qualities of a good partnership. Students realize that they have the responsibility to meet those qualifications of a good partner if they expect their partner to meet them as well. The ownership of the collaborative process shifts to the student.
After students complete the second reading, we gather together and each team posts their chosen interpretive questions on a chart paper. Then, we observe which questions came up most frequently and which question are most thought provoking so that they will have the most possible answers. After our discussion, I select one interpretive question to lead our Shared Inquiry discussion for the second part of this lesson.