This lesson is one of the first of many about questioning. My students are able to ask lots of questions, but they tend to be literal. Using questioning to improve comprehension is not a reading strategy that they often employ. In this lesson, the students ask and answer to demonstrate understanding of key details in an informational online text (RI.2.1), which supports the shift in Common Core Standards toward using text evidence to improve comprehension. This focus on using information from a text to support their answers, especially in an informational text is great practice for Social Studies, Science and other disciplines. This cross-curricular learning encourages students to draw on their abilities to discover answers for themselves rather than rely on adults to supply the facts, a shift in learning from the Common Core Standards.
** I chose this book because it has nice pictures about why the Pilgrims left England. Although the title is about Thanksgiving, it really sums up the Mayflower and Pilgrim experience nicely. The text is early 2nd grade level, which lets me focus more on the questioning strategy and allows the opportunity for independent reading.
Underlined words should emphasized and put on my Reading & Writing word wall for later reference. I pull off words for each lesson, helping students understand the vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Get students engaged
Common starting point
** The rigor expected by the Common Core Standards has caused me to shift the practice of teacher-led explanations toward student-led learning. I now spend time asking them to lead the learning process and discover information. Encouraging students to ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and demonstrate understanding of key details in a text allows them to become active learners. (RI.2.1) In the previous lesson, The Whys and Whens of Literature, I explained to students how to use find answers to literal and inferential questions in the beginning, middle, and end of a literature selection.
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models with the paragraph on the board
Practice strategy - guided practice
Share what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
The text for this lesson is easier so students with difficulty reading could still participate. You could also read through the text as you show it on the Elmo or bring the students to the rug to work separately. They may need help formulating questions.
Students with greater ability should be encouraged to ask more inferential questions. As you walk around, see if they can ask a question with a 'harder' answer - that's not in the text. Remind them that we must be able to answer the question however. One of my students said, "What is the name of the Pilgrim?" I reminded the whole class that we need to focus our questions on what we can answer.