SPI 0701.6.1 Clarifying Questions Informational Text

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For this activity, we play a game I call “I’m Thinking of An Animal.” In the game, I think of an animal and the students have to figure out what the animal is by asking questions: Is it a mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, etc. Is it nocturnal, diurnal, carnivore, omnivore, herbivore, big, small, etc. I can only answer their CLARIFYING QUESTIONS with “yes” or “no.” This can easily be adapted to any kind of 20 questions type game.

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Informational Text SPI 0701.6.1 Formulate clarifying questions before, during, or after reading Based on Tennessee State Curriculum Standards from the 2009-2010 school year. Prepared by Andy Lombardo, Sevierville Middle School

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Clarifying Questions These are the most common questions students ask when I say we’re going to read a story on page blah blah blah… Why do we have to read this? What’s the point? What page is it on?

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Clarifying Questions While we’re reading and after we finish, the most common statement I hear is I don’t get it!

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The point of this lesson and the ones that follow is to help deal with all of those issues.

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Clarifying Question Activity Play “I Am Thinking of An Animal” How did you figure out what animal I picked? You asked clarifying questions! You use clarifying questions to find out something you don’t know but want to find out.

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Questions to Ask and Answer Before Reading -Does the title give you any clues about the text? -What genre of writing is this? Poetry, prose, drama? Fiction? Nonfiction? Why does the genre matter? -Why are you reading this text? To perform a task? To gain information? To be entertained? -What do you already know about the topic? -What predictions can you make?

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Questions to Ask and Answer During Reading -What did you learn from what you just read? -Do you need to reread? Do you need to slow down? Do you need to use a different strategy? -What is the main idea? What does the author want you to know about the story? Can you summarize it? -What picture is the author “painting” in your head? What details from the text help to paint this picture? -What’s the mood? Upbeat, suspenseful, spooky, serious, funny? -Are there words you do not know? Does not knowing these words affect your understanding of the text? Do you need to look them up in the dictionary?

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Questions to Ask and Answer After Reading -What predictions were confirmed? What details in the text confirmed them? -What were the main ideas and themes presented in the text? -How did the author present information? -What connections did you make to the text?

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Resources Jim Burke’s Before/During/After activities website (ummm, AWESOME!) Questions Handout

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