I introduce students to my Shared Inquiry Flipchart on Shared inquiry. I also remind students of a previous lesson we completed on Note Taking. Students are reminded of the difference between factual and interpretive questions. We discussed that we had learned from earlier lessons that while factual questions derive one correct answer, interpretive questions may have multiple answers. Our answers are justified by providing evidence within the text that supports our interpretation of the story. We complete a KWL chart that is on the flip chart to assess prior knowledge and give direction to this lesson. I use a KWL chart in every lesson to establish a starting point for my lesson. It also can serve as a review of previous lessons as students list what they already know about shared inquiry. Students have different entry points depending on their prior experiences and ability to retain information from past lessons. The KWL chart allows me to differentiate my instruction and focus on information on the W section of the KWL: What students want to learn about the topic.
Students often have difficulty asking questions that are higher order. It is important for students to ask and answer questions that focus on key details of text in order to increase comprehension. So, I introduce Bloom's Question Stems that students may use as starting points. The question stems are to promote higher order synthesis and evaluation questions from Bloom's Taxonomy. I will distribute these question stems later in this lesson when students develop their own interpretive questions. Asking higher order questions using the Bloom's question stems leads to complex questions that probe students to delve deeper into the text and lead to more profound levels of comprehension.
I give students a copy of the story "The Happy Lion" by Louise Fatio and distribute post-it sticky notes. I then give students instructions for the first reading of this story.
The first reading focuses on being an active reader. Students are asked to post sticky notes on any part of the text by marking as follows:
? means anything you find puzzling.
+ means anything you find important
! means anything you feel strongly about.
I review the steps we took for our first reading from a previous lesson: Interpretive Questions. We discuss the importance of citing text to answer questions. We start with the text and form questions that are based on sections of text we find puzzling. Ultimately, this process leads us back to the text to gather more evidence in order to answer the questions. Delving deeper into the text for answers develops a new level of understanding and supports students engaging in RL.2.1 on a deep level.
I ask them to read the story silently and mark the areas of text as I have directed above. In previous lessons, I read the story out loud to students, but at this point they are ready to be more independent with the process for our first reading.
At the end of this activity, I review Post-It Notes Student Samples with them to ensure that the above criteria are met. The quality of student sticky notes allows me to gauge their level of understanding of the text. The notes also provide me with a window to their thinking process.
During the second reading, I ask students to focus on the parts of the story they marked as puzzling and/or important. 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. Students must cite examples from text in their questions in order to develop more specific questions. Citing evidence from text to support an opinion or validate a concept is the basis of RL.2.1.
For the second reading, I chose a different color post it sticky note so that I can see the difference between the vague notes I took during my first reading and the detailed notes I am taking for this second reading.
I model using a sample sticky note from the first reading of the story: The Happy Lion. For example, during my first reading, I marked: ? "Cage door left open" During my second reading, I elaborate by adding details cited from text: ? " Why does the lion walk out of the cage? He was safe inside the cage."
Then, I distribute a different color post it sticky notes and ask students to re-read the story to fine tune their notes from the first reading. I walk around to observe what students are writing on their Student Post-It Notes and assist as needed.
At the end of this activity, students expressed that they realized a second reading was necessary because they may have missed something the first time. Furthermore, they were able to probe deeper into the questions they already had about the story by focusing on that section of text. They were able to focus on sections or fragments of text because they already knew the entire story from beginning to end. One student said that sometimes she is so focused on how the conflict is solved, that she misses other details in the story. Once she knew how the conflict is resolved in the first reading, she was able to focus on story details that confused her. She also liked the discussion we are having to conclude this lesson because she is getting feedback about her reading. Common Core is not about learning or teaching in isolation. It is about collaborating and reflecting with others and learning to communicate conceptual knowledge with each other.