The Questioning slide deck follows the same framework that all the literacy skills slide decks do. It starts by asking students what the skill entails, then it provides a definition for them to copy down.
The slide deck then moves through the three question types (Literal, Inferential, and Evaluative). For each of these pieces, students should be asked to orally provide their answer, before the answer is revealed.
English Course Pack: Unit One – Literacy Skills
This assignment is part of the The Full English Course Park. This piece is part of Unit One: Literacy Skills, which focuses on creating a strong foundational understanding of literacy skills, PEE paragraph writing, and embedding quotations as textual support.
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1.08 – Questioning: Slide Deck
Step One: What is Questioning?
Students should be asked to explain everything they know about questioning, before the definition is presented to them. It is important that students copy down the three question types: Literal, Inferential, and Evaluative. the more comfortable they become with the terminology, the more they will start to internalize it, and use it automatically in their metacognitive processes.
Step Two: The Different Question Types
Students should record the definitions of the three question types, and also take a moment to answer the exemplar questions. During this time, they can express how they came to their conclusions, and express why they think their response is a strong answer.
Attention should be drawn to the fact that a strong answer also rephrases the question in the response. An answer should convey meaning, even if the reader isn’t aware of the question.
For example, if a student answered “United States” to the literal question, that response would hold no value to anyone who doesn’t know the question. With that said, the answer “The words on the side of the shuttle say ‘United States’.” does provide context, meaning, and understanding for the reader.
Step Three: Embedded Video Learning
Once again, a short video clip reinforces the concept of questioning. This short clip should reinforce that there are different strengths to each question, and that different question types carry different levels of difficulty. While literal questions are quick to grade, they are not often of value.
Step Four: The Value of Questions
The next slide states “If your teacher asks you a question, it’s because there’s something important to consider in the answer.” This slide lets students know that when you pose questions, such as “What gift did the protagonist give to their best friend?” you are not simply looking to see if they read the chapter – instead you are drawing attention to the fact that a Gecko (or whatever the gift may have been) was given.
Students will understand that that literal question isn’t about ensuring that they’ve read the chapter, but about setting them up to be aware that there is a Gecko (or whatever the gift may have been – once more) that will play an important role.
No questions should ever be asked just for the sake of asking. If they’re not leading to the further development or reinforcement of literacy skills, they hold no value. This is especially true for literal questions that rarely have a place in the English classroom.
Step Five: PEE Paragraphs for a Reason!
Finally, students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding by responding to an evaluative question. This question will reinforce PEE paragraphs, and demonstrate the importance of that framework, even when that is not the specifically assigned task. The PEE framework fully prepares students for a strong three part answer.
Once students have a strong understanding of the importance of questioning the amount of “why does this matter” questions start slowing down. Students will understand that the old joke about “Why does the English Teacher think the drapes are purple? / Why did the author make the drapes purple?” opposition isn’t accurate.
As educators, we aren’t looking for a specific “right” answer. Instead, we’re looking for the ability to draw connections through inferences, and support decisions. We are looking to have students use evaluative questions to make personal text-to-self connections. When we ask fill-in-the-blank questions, it’s not as a “gotcha” style way to catch people who haven’t read that chapter. After all, who cares if it’s Nurse Ratchet or Nurse Hatchet? What matters is that students are aware that there is a nurse, because they will play a large role in things to come.
This level of transparency with your pedagogy will help students engage with the materials as you move forward.
English – Unit One: Literacy Skills
RICH Reading Log honours Personal Choice Reading. Reading Indenpendent CHallenges is a form a Personal Choice Reading that students engage in during almost every class. … Continue reading 1.17 – RICH Reading Log (English Lesson)
Designing a movie poster requires attention to detail, use of symbols and symbolism, an understanding of how to merge text with visuals, and how to … Continue reading 1.16 – The Movie Poster Assignment (English Lesson)
Movie posters are incredible media texts, because they combine both art theory, and advertising. They can be appreciated as pure visual texts, but also as … Continue reading 1.15 – Movie Posters: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
The Media Triangle is an important tool that students will use to discover the messages and meaning of any text. Rather than simply looking at … Continue reading 1.14 – Teaching the Media Triangle (English Lesson)
Topic Journals are an excellent way to gauge students’ Reading and Writing skills, through in-class writing opportunities. Topic Journals will focus on text-to-theme, as well … Continue reading 1.13 – In-Class Writing: Topic Journals (English Lesson)
The Swan as a Metaphor for Love is a short story written by Amelia Gray and can be found online at Joyland Magazine. It is … Continue reading 1.12 – The Swan as a Metaphor for Love: Short Story – Connecting (English Lesson)
When students connect to text, they build deeper meaning both with the text, and with what they connect it to. By teaching how to make … Continue reading 1.11 – Connecting: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
Building students’ literacy skills by focusing on Determining Importance and Summarizing allows them to read for meaning, and decode in an effective way that leads … Continue reading 1.10 – Determining Importance & Summarizing: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
Taylor Swift is a short story written by Hugh Behm-Steinberg and can be found online at Gulf Coast Magazine. It is a strange story about … Continue reading 1.09 – Taylor Swift: Short Story – Questioning (English Lesson)
Terry Bisson’s story, They’re Made Out of Meat, is a perfect way to put inferring into practice. After reading the story aloud, students are asked … Continue reading 1.07 – Made out of Meat – Short Story Visualizing and Inferring (English Lesson)
This slide deck introduces students to the literacy skill, Inferring. It is designed to be moved through slowly, scaffolding an understanding of Inferring for students … Continue reading 1.06 – Inferring: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
The Drawbridge Character Monologue assignment builds upon the now-familiar text that was explored in 1.04 – The Drawbridge: PEE Paragraphs, asking students to consider the … Continue reading 1.05 – The Drawbridge: Character Monologues (English Lesson)
The Drawbridge PEE Paragraph activity brings together all of the learning that has taken place so far. The beginning of the lesson should be run … Continue reading 1.04: The Drawbridge: PEE Paragraphs (English Lesson)
Embedding Quotations is a necessary skill that students will use throughout their years in secondary and post-secondary education. This slide deck introduces the idea of … Continue reading 1.03: Embedding Quotations: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
Alligator River is a short story that will have your class yelling at each other, screaming at each other, becoming enraged at each other. And … Continue reading 1.02: Alligator River (English Lesson)
The Nametag project begins the school year with students creating a piece that visually represents who they are and presents the challenge for them to … Continue reading 1.01: The Nametag Project (English Lesson)
English Course Packs: Full Units
Unit One: Literacy Skills
Unit Two: Poetry (In Progress)
Unit Three: Literature Circles (In Progress)
Unit Four: Creative Writing & Choose Our Way Tales (In Progress)
Unit Five: Essay Writing (In Progress)
Unit Six: Culminating Tasks (In Progress)
Michael Barltrop has been teaching since 2006, integrating comics, video games, and TTRPGs into his classroom. He has been the head of English, Literacy, Special Education, and Assessment & Evaluation and Universal Design. Feel free to reach out through Twitter @MrBarltrop!
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