This is a lesson in the middle of a unit about questioning. In this lesson, the students ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text (RL.2.1), which supports the shift in Common Core Standards toward using text evidence to improve comprehension. The students are also looking at how illustrations and words enhance our understanding of the characters and plot. (RL.2.7) In this story, the pictures and understanding of this silly character bring so much meaning! We are using literature to ask and answer the two kinds of questions about the text and character - literal and inferential. My students are fairly comfortable with these types of questions and understand how to find the answers to each type. We have created charts to help with starting the questions (see above list). This book is also full of multiple meaning words and figurative language. It's a great opportunity for students to see the nuances in word meanings. (L.2.5)
I chose this book, Amelia Bedelia, because the text is an 2nd grade level, the characters clearly change, and the illustrations are wonderful. My goal is to really focus on how questions help the reader determine what motivates the character and how the character changes.
If you have not taught lessons about questioning text, I encourage you to look at some of the earlier lessons so your students get some practice with writing and answering questions. These lessons include The Whys and Whens of Questioning about Literature, Big Questions About Informational Text, So What Do You Think, Using Evaluative Questions with Literature, Evaluative Questions-Pick Your Side and Argue, What Are You Asking About Informational Text?, and Questions Help Us See How Characters Develop.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' 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 (see focus/background of the lesson)
Give the purpose of the lesson
Model the strategy
Practice strategy - guided practice
As students examine character development, they are describing how the characters respond to major events and challenges. (RL.2.3) The are analyzing how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. The Common Core State Standards emphasized using evidence from the text to present this careful analyses, reading the text with care to find evidence of how the characters changed.
Students answer the questions
Explain the project:
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with academic challenges should work in a group with the teacher to write questions and answer the questions. Writing and answering questions tends to be a more difficult skills, so prompts for challenged students can also be done with the whiteboard. Here's some prompting for students to write a question that my students needed.
Students with more ability will should be able to write more evaluative questions or use higher level vocabulary. Explaining your expectations to them, such as vocabulary use or question word choice, will help them meet a higher level of ability.