I'm 'Greedy' for Some Answers to My Questions
Lesson 15 of 15
Objective: SWBAT ask questions from the beginning, middle and end of a story and provide answers using text evidence.
- A Greedy Python by Eric Carle
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle (to show demonstrating the style of writing that Eric Carle uses)
- Lesson vocabulary words from the Reading/Writing word wall: questioning, beginning, middle, end, literal, inferential, evaluative, words, illustrations
- 'I'm Greedy' worksheet
- 'Evaluative Questions' starters chart
- 'Literal & Inferential Question' starters chart
- 9x11 construction paper to glue on snake
- whiteboard set up
In this lesson, I’ll have my students ask some deeper questions that really ‘get to the heart’ of the story. The Common Core Standards represent a shift in thinking toward reading. They require students to ask and answer questions to deepen their comprehension of the text as well as providing evidence for their answers with support from the text. (RL.2.1). Second graders are able to ask questions, but typically these are surface level questions that don’t improve their understanding, and they usually are not able to provide concrete support for their answers. This lesson will help them use questions to deepen understanding and find evidence to support that understanding.
This is also a great opportunity for students to work on their fluency, rate and expression. These poems that are cyclical help kids read with feeling and develop a good rhythm, adding to their comprehension. (RF.2.4b)
Let's Get Excited!
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)
- “Today I brought a book that many of you have read. Maybe you can tell me a quick summary about it.”
- Show the Brown Bear book and let kids tell a quick summary
- "Eric Carle is a great writer because he uses wonderful illustrations to add meaning to his text. We can use both words and pictures to understand his stories."
- We’ll be using our questioning strategy with another of his famous stories called The Greedy Python. I’ll show you the story and you can make some predictions before we read.
This is the last lesson that I’m teaching as part of a questioning unit. My students are comfortable asking and answering the 3 kinds of questions (inferential, literal and evaluative). 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.
Explain the task
- “Questioning helps us to comprehend. Can you tell me how?” Prompt for ideas such as: we think about what is happening, we are active readers, we are close readers, we look at the words and pictures more closely, etc.
- “We’ve talked about the 3 kinds of questions." Refer to the words on the board. "Literal questions have answers in the text or pictures. Inferential questions have answers that you have to ‘figure out’ – use your best guess and background knowledge. With evaluative questions, you have to add your own opinion and tell what you think."
- “Today we’ll use an Eric Carle story to ask some questions so we can understand it better. The worksheet I’ll pass out has a snake. You’ll cut out the snake and cut on the dotted lines. Each section needs a question. You can color it to show how you found the evidence to support your answer (red for illustration, orange for text, or yellow for both).
- “Let’s read the first part of the book and then ask some questions in the beginning, middle and end of the story."
- Read through the page that says, “He quickly gobbled in one bite.”
- “I want to use lots of different question words and kinds of questions, so let me look at my 'Evaluative Questions' starters chart and the 'Literal & Inferential Question' starters chart. Remember we are asking questions to help us understand better so make sure they are harder questions that make us ‘think’, not just easy questions that everyone knows!!” This is what it sounded like when we talked about identifying questions that aid comprehension.
- “’Why do you think the the snake is colored?’ – That’s an evaluative question because it's my opinion, but the text says ‘hidden in the jungle’. I’ll write the question on my snake piece and color it orange for ‘text’. Here's the whiteboard looked like as we practiced.
- “Here’s one more question…. ‘Where is the snake?’ The illustration shows him in a tree so I’ll write the questions and color it red. This is the modeling discussion about questions and colors.
Students Take a Turn
Assign the task
- “Now its your turn… we’ll read the middle of the story."
- Read through the page that says “And when they all…
- "Take a few moments to write 3 more questions. Make sure they use different question starters. Refer to the chart. "Your questions should help you understand the story better. Color them to show how you find the answers based on the colors we talked about."
- Remind students to use different questioning words and keep the pieces in order.
- Read to the end of the book and have them write 3 more questions, like this student who was working.
- Students will finish all the questions and color. Here's a completed worksheet.
- Walk around and check with students as they work. Here's how I use formative assessment and asked students what they're doing.
- Prompt students to use questions to help them understand better. This is one of our discussions about separating out questions that help.
Share What You've Learned
Reflect and Share:
- “Now you’ve created a summary of the story. Let’s cut apart the snake pieces and glue the questions pieces on the big paper to make the snake.” This is a completed project.
- “Let’s talk for a minute about your questions. ..
- “Who had the most ‘yellow questions’? “Who had the most…. (orange and red) questions? Did the illustrations or text provide more support for your questions? Why do you think that’s true?”
- “Who can share how the questions helped them understand?”
- “Would anyone like to share their snake?”
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students may need prompting on a whiteboard or to work with the teacher to write the questions. It can be very difficult for students with language challenges to write questions, so the teacher should monitor their progress carefully. Individualize for students - ask them why they chose answers and where they found the answers. Here's how I individualized instruction with a student who has speech challenges.
Students with more language abilities should be challenged to use some of the higher level vocabulary in the book, including 'gobbled', 'creature' and 'monstrous'.