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), evidencing the shift in Common Core Standards toward using text details to improve comprehension. We are also examining how the plot changes by looking at illustrations and wording (RL.2.7). My students are fairly comfortable with asking and answering questions.
I chose this book A Pocket Full of Kisses, because the text is an 2nd grade level, it has excellent illustrations, great text, and the plot is clear. My goal is to really focus on writing 'how' and 'why' questions to show how the plot of a story changes. This is deeper level questioning that the Common Core Standards are focusing on. Students are typically adept at the literal 'what color...' and 'what is the name...' questions. Our focus is to use questioning to improve reading comprehension, which means that students must ask deeper level questions that lead to understanding.
*When I taught this lesson the second time, I decided to use a worksheet with less writing and change the evidence to 'literal' and 'inferential'. This encourages the kids to demonstrate how they find the answer and is similar to the previous lessons in this Questioning unit - The What's and When's of Literature, and Tape the Answers.
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)
Gain Student Interest & Bring All to a Common Starting Point
*** As students are exposed to and practice questioning, it's important to stress that questions should lead to deeper level comprehension. Second graders are usually able to ask lots of questions, especially literal, but it's important to remind them that the questions should help them understand the text, and not just be asked for the sake of asking questions.
If you have not taught lessons about question writing, 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, So What Do You Think, Using Evaluative Questions with Literature, Evaluative Questions-Pick Your Side and Argue, Questions Help Us See How Characters Develop, That Striking Language, Ask Questions About Those Illustrations and The 'What's' and 'Where's' of Literature.
Purpose of lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
Explain the project
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with academic challenges typically have difficult writing questions based on what they've heard. They should work with the teacher to formulate questions as a group or the teacher can write prompts on their whiteboards.
Students with higher abilities should be challenged to use some of the more difficult vocabulary of the book, such as 'deserved', 'run out' and 'settled'. As you read the text, highlight these words and then write a few on the board to prompt them to use them in the questions or answers.