Reflection: Accountability Call of the Wild, Book Groups "Questions in a Hat" - Section 2: Questions in a Hat


I can't stand it when people say "There are no dumb questions."  Of course there are.  In the case of schoolwork,  questions to which students already know the answer...or questions that really have no "answer" fall into the character of dumb questions.  For example, if I give you the assignment to come up with three questions about the text that you are reading (Call of the Wild) and you write "Why do dogs fight?" Well, that is a dumb question.  Cesar Milan is not in our class, and the text does not address the dogs' psychology in a way that would satisfy this question.

Why do kids ask dumb questions?  Sometimes, it's because they don't really care about the assignment and they just want to be finished so they can go off and do something more interesting. (We have all been there, right?)  And sometimes they do it because they just aren't thinking about the task at hand (It was snowing today, and even though my window is close to the ceiling and less than ten inches high, the flakes were calling...)  But there is a part of me that thinks that kids ask dumb questions because WE ask too many of them ourselves.

Many of my students today wrote questions that could have come out of a textbook's most uninspired, easy comprehension question bank.  I rarely, if ever, use those questions, because they don't lead anywhere.  But, clearly, the kids are very familiar with the form and content of these cookie cutter questions.  So, no wonder so many of the "burning" questions today were, well, more like wet matches.

  Dumb Questions
  Accountability: Dumb Questions
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Call of the Wild, Book Groups "Questions in a Hat"

Unit 4: Nature, Naturalism, and The Call of the Wild
Lesson 6 of 14

Objective: SWBAT conduct productive, thoughtful book group meetings to address questions and insights related to Call of the Wild.

Big Idea: Kids s should spend time talking about things in books that interest THEM.

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5 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Reading, Comprehension (Reading), book groups, Jack London, grammar
  40 minutes
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