Creating Questions for Close Analytic Reading Exemplars: A Brief Guide
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- Think about what you think is the most important learning to be drawn from the text. Note this as “raw material” for the culminating assignment and the focus point for other activities to build toward.
- Determine the key ideas of the text. Create a series of questions structured to bring the reader to an understanding of these.
- Locate the most powerful academic words in the text and integrate questions and discussions that explore their role into the set of questions above.
- Take stock of what standards are being addressed in the series of questions above. Then decide if any other standards are suited to being a focus for this text. If so, form questions that exercise those standards.
- Consider if there are any other academic words that students would profit from focusing on. Build discussion planning or additional questions to focus attention on them.
- Find the sections of the text that will present the greatest difficulty and craft questions that support students in mastering these sections. These could be sections with difficult syntax, particularly dense information, and tricky transitions or places that offer a variety of possible inferences.
- Develop a culminating activity around the idea or learning identified in #1. A good task should reflect mastery of one or more of the standards, involve writing, and be structured to be done by students independently.
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