Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sarah, Plain and Tall

This week, we finished reading Sarah, Plain and Tall.  I haven't taught this book in so many years, but I needed a quality novel that I could finish before we were ready to launch ReadyGen (btw, it's looking like Monday will be the big day).  I used this novel as a vehicle for teaching questioning.  I'm so pleased with the questions my students wrote while reading this book!  Take a look....

Sloppy easel alert!

I began the novel with a lesson on questioning using the cover.
I taught my kiddos that we ask questions to gather more information about the book.  After the first chapter, I asked the kids to partner up (I've been u
sing the phrase "point your shoulders at someone" to get them to face their partners) to ask questions about the events and description so far.  As you can imagine, they had a lot of questions about "hiring" a wife!

In the next lesson, I stopped mid-chapter, asked them to point their shoulders to a partner and write their questions on a sticky note.  Nearly all of their questions were on point!  I made a big fuss about their questions and asked them to respond to the most frequently asked question: will Sarah stay?  Here are a few of their responses:

And, my favorite one....
(Isn't it so exciting to start the year impressed with student work? I am thrilled to work with this amazing reader and thinker!)

After  two more days of practicing writing thick questions focused on text events, I asked my kiddos to practice writing questions for their independent reading books.

We also did a quick lesson on thick questions versus thin questions, but I forgot to snap a pic of the anchor chart.  

And today, one of my new friends came up to me to show me the question he wrote on a sticky at home!  (Why why why didn't I snap a pic!?!?!)

Next, we will do some work with writing long off of our sticky notes!

Tell me, do you have a favorite questioning lesson?

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