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Explains three levels of questions as a reading strategy for engaging a text.

Explains three levels of questions as a reading strategy for engaging a text.

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  • This is the PowerPoint I used in the second mini-lesson on questioning. In the first lesson, I defined the three levels (“layers”) of questions, using a clip from the first Shrek movie (the “ogres are like onions” clip) to grab attention and set up metaphor of peeling an onion to peeling the layers of a text to “dig out” deeper truths of a text.
  • We reviewed the three layers of questions learned in previous class.
  • Lead a discussion of the importance of questioning a text: Understanding the text on a deeper level Developing critical thinking skills Generate writing topics
  • Explain how deep questions improve Lit Circle discussions—moving beyond superficial discussions of a text. Also, they lead to “Big Ideas” for writing topics.
  • The questions on the next several slides were generated by students in the first lesson on questioning. Lead a discussion on how these topics give students “Big Ideas” to talk and write about.
  • Read aloud a text and have students generate questions. I introduce a page titled “questions” in students’ writing journals and explain this is a place they can begin a list of questions which will become topic ideas for future writings.


  • 1. Peeling the Layers : Questioning a Text
  • 2.
    • Right There Q’s
    • Point to answer in Text
    • Who?, What?, When?, Where?
    • Recall details of Text
    Layer 1
  • 3.
    • Dig Deep Into Text
    • Can’t point to answer in one place in text
    • Ask Why? or How?
    • What is…significance or meaning?
    • Pose Comparisons
    • Ask you to Interpret, Infer, Predict
    Layer 2
  • 4.
    • Go Beyond the Text
    • Q. NOT specifically connected to one particular text
    • Bring up BIG IDEAS
    • Make connections
    Layer 3
  • 5. So What?
  • 6. Why Peel?
  • 7. Deepen Discussions Spark Writing Topics
  • 8. Q. How can people’s past haunt them?
  • 9. Q. Where do you see yourself in 26 years?
  • 10. Q. If the past makes you, does that mean if you regret the past you despise yourself?
  • 11. Q. What has made you what you are today?
  • 12. Q. How do we forgive or redeem ourselves for horrible things we’ve done?
  • 13. Reading Journal Q. Two-Columns Layer 2 Layer 3
  • 14. of our thinking . thinking . Reading is Writing is the inking