Anancy and Dog and Puss and Friendship is a West Indian folktale as told by James Berry. It is a great choice for shared inquiry because of its clever twist and turns in plot and dialectal language that exposes students to a different culture. Our class had researched various cultures prior and understand that each culture has a distinct way of life and communicating. Also, folklore revolves around a central theme or message that requires deep thinking to uncover.
The focus of my Shared Inquiry Flipchart is the goal for today's lesson, which is to develop interpretive, text-dependent questions. The flip chart explains the qualities of interpretive questions. They differ from factual questions, which only have one correct answer. They also differ from evaluative questions, which require background knowledge other than what is presented in text. Interpretive, text-dependent questions rely on textual information and evidence as their source.
Although students are familiar with this flip chart from previous lessons, students develop automaticity each time they review this process. Practice make perfect and younger students need repetition and review of this complex process. I can tell by our discussions that each time I show the flip chart, even though it has the same information, students point out areas that they have improved performance due to the consistency of the expectations.
After the second reading, students will create interpretive questions. The flip chart explains that interpretive questions require deep thought and has more than one correct answer. However, the answers must be supported by text. 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.
Prior to the first reading, I distribute Post-It Notes for students to take notes. As I read aloud for the first reading, students are to take notes and adhere the Student Sticky Notes on the page that elicits the following reactions:
+ something important
? something puzzling or confuisng
! something you feel strongly about
Students focus on their notes using the above symbols and writing one word or short phrases on their post its. I chose to read aloud first so that students can listen actively and follow along in their books. It is a good way to model fluent reading as well.
During the Second Reading discussions, I pair students together to develop interpretive questions from the story. Students' ability to think creatively is enhanced when they get feedback from another person. I chose to promote collaboration with a partner rather than a group of five or six because it also tends to be less chaotic and keeps the noise level down. Using a Pair-Share Rubric also makes the activity go smoother. Students know the expectations of their partners and are held accountable by ratings on this rubric.
After the second reading, students develop interpretive questions with their partner. They strategize ways to accomplish this task using previous notes and information gained from the second reading. I distribute the Bloom's higher order question stems introduced at the introduction of this lesson. I assist students by modeling how to use the question stems to create interpretive questions. Once students see an example, they are able to take ownership of this activity.
Students share their interpretive questions with the class. We look for similarities and differences in the questions derived. Then, we choose the best question to guide our shared inquiry for the next lesson.
Students also complete a self-assessment using the shared inquiry rubric to rate their own performance. Their partners give feedback and also make suggestions on improving performance as well as give kudos for a job well done. The areas rated focus on conduct, speaking and reasoning, listening, and knowledge of text and preparation.