The Girl and the Chanoo is a Native American Folktale that is featured in Junior Great Book series for second grade. It is a complex story with multiple twist and turns until the ending is finally revealed. This is an excellent story for shared inquiry discussions because of its depth in meaning.
I introduce the Shared Inquiry Shared Inquiry Flipchart, focusing on the goal for this lesson and the rubric that measures where students are in the learning continuum towards that goal. My focus for Day 1 of this two part lesson is defining interpretive questions. Basically, interpretive questions are a questions that generate multiple answers. There is not only one correct answer because any answer that is defended logically by citing examples in text can be considered correct. The focus is on the explanation students give for their answers.
After we go through the flipchart, I distribute students copies of this book and two different colors of post its for students to write notes. We discuss examples and non-examples of interpretive questions to clarify and address students' misconceptions prior to writing notes. Students often have difficulty asking questions that are higher order. 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 chose to read aloud to my students for the first reading. When students get comfortable with this process, I will transition into student reading silently for the first reading. At this point, students are not yet at an independent level of the Shared Inquiry process. Modeling and guiding are much needed to facilitate this process.
I ask student to choose which color post it they want to use for the first reading and mark as follows:
+ parts of the story that are important
? parts of the story that are confusing
! parts of the story they feel strongly about
They are to post these notes on the page that produces the above reactions. The purpose is to gain a deeper understanding of text through their own "wonderings", written on the post its.
Students read silently for the second reading. During the Second Reading Note Taking process, students convert the post it notes taken from their first reading into interpretive questions. I distribute the questions stems that we discussed in the first section of this lesson to give students a concrete starting point to convert their notes to abstract higher order questions. Turning questions from notes is an elaborate process and requires deep thinking. Students work in pairs to generate their questions. Common Core requires deeper probing into literature to gain better and more focused understanding of text.
Students share out their interpretive questions at the conclusion of this lesson. In preparation for part 2 of this lesson, students write their interpretive questions on post its. I chart their post its and we analyze for frequency that the questions were asked as well as the quality of its multiple perspectives. I choose the one that incites the greatest amount of possible answers to be used for the next part of this lesson.