Reflection: Staircase of Complexity What's happening in the story? Day 1 of 2 - Section 2: Close Reading of the First Half of the Story


Text dependent questions are powerful in helping students attend to the text. In preparing the text dependent questions, it is important to choose a narrative with different layers of complexity. To help us figure out the different levels of complexity the website, has a great resource for us to use in helping us select stories for a close reading. I am attaching the literature rubric for you to use and reference in the development of text dependent questions.

I developed these text dependent questions to help my students understand the key details of the storyline. These are surface questions because this is our first read. But these questions matter because they will build the foundation for a deeper understanding of the text later on during the week. I highly suggest collaborating with a colleague if possible to develop the questions, especially the ones that go beyond the key ideas and details.

It is important to notice that students will need different guidance in answering the questions as they attend to the text. I included two examples of the same student answering a question. I helped him get clear about who was playing ball with Tomas. At first, he stated that it was the Dad playing ball with Tomas. It was vital that I had read the story before the lesson and become very familiar with it so that I could provide good support in cases like this.

I didn't make him feel wrong for not answering with the evidence from the text, but I did I ask him to reread by asking, "Is that was the text says?" He knew where to look.

Rereading is a very powerful method that helps with comprehension. I made sure to keep probing without giving him the answer so that he could figure it out on his own by going back into the text and realizing, "Oh, it's Tomas and his little brother Enrique playing ball." And finally he did know who was playing with Tomas, which made him feel successful. At this stage, this type of confusion with the key ideas are common, but they can also be easily addressed.

I believe my students did a very good job of answering the questions by referring back to the text. This takes time and patience.

  Staircase of Complexity: Reflecting on Close Reading, Part 1
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What's happening in the story? Day 1 of 2

Unit 13: Tomas and the Library Lady
Lesson 1 of 4

Objective: SWBAT to ask and answer questions about a literary text to understand key details.

Big Idea: Who is Tomas? Where are they going is a rusty old car? Do we meet the Library Lady? The answers lie in this heartwarming text.

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pair sharing
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