The classic story of Jack and the beanstalk has deeper meaning than initially thought. By exploring the deeper meaning, students uncover the central message of this fable. I hook students into this lesson by challenging them to find hidden meanings in this story. We view the Shared Inquiry flip chart to view goals and scales particular for Shared Inquiry discussions.
I discuss with students that questioning the author about the story as you read will lead to the hidden meanings. We discuss reading the story twice and taking notes each time we read. I show students the section of the Shared Inquiry Flipchart that explains this process. 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.
We discuss the meaning of taking notes with text supports. Once students grasp this concept, we begin our first reading.
I decided to read aloud the first reading. Modeling is sometimes needed at this age group in order to be successful with the notetaking as you read process. Students follow along with their books as I read. I model and have students mark the text with post it notes as follows:
? something puzzling or confusing
+ something important
! anything you feel strongly about
To gradually release the task of note taking, I show an example of my notes and ask students to do the same in their books for the first example. Then, I stop taking notes and read the story as students post their notes independently: Student Post-It Sample 1 and Student Post-It Sample 2. We continue this process until we read the entire story.
I ask students to read a second time independently. They also are to take notes with a different color post-it. These notes change their previous notes to interpretive questions. Students are paired with partners so that they can share information and brainstorm interpretive questions together. Since this is an abstract concept, students provide support for one another.
Students are introduced to a Shared Inquiry Rubric (see source), students rate their performance in areas of conduct, speaking/ listening, and knowledge/ text preparation. Students share their self-assessments elaborating on areas they can improve as well as discussing their strengths during the shared inquiry process. At this point, students rate only their knowledge/ text preparation portion and explain how they attained knowledge through preparation. The rest of the items on the rubric will be completed after the Shared Inquiry discussion for the second part of this lesson (see next lesson).
Self-reflection is a skill students need to learn in order to make an accurate critique of their performance and take ownership of their efforts in their own learning. Students must also learn to take pride in their accomplishments by identifying their strengths. To meet the rigorous learning demands of the Common Core, I make sure my curriculum gives ownership of learning to students and the process of gradual release must include a self-check system such as the rubric used in this section: Shared Inquiry Rubric.