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Question-centered approach to reading and writing


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Joe McVeigh and Jenny Bixby describe a question-centered approach to teaching reading and writing for English language students. Download handout here:

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Question-centered approach to reading and writing

  1. 1. Using a Question-Centered Approachto Reading andWritingJenny BixbyJoe McVeighMarch 31, 2012TESOL, Philadelphia
  2. 2. 1. How do youuse questions inthe classroom
  3. 3. 2. Typesofquestions
  4. 4. What kind of question is it?1.What is the approximate a) display question attendance at this conference? b) experiential question2.What was your first impression of c) fact-based Philadelphia? question3.What’s this presentation d) leading question going to be about?4.You will stay until the end of this presentation, won’t you?
  5. 5. What kind of question is it?1. Do you use the TESOL a) essential website very often? question2. What makes a b) topical professional organization valuable to question its members? c) yes-no3. Why do most people question join TESOL?
  6. 6. 3. What is an essential question?
  7. 7. What do these questions have in common? 1. Who are your friends? 2. What makes a city livable? 3. Is discovery always a good thing? 4. Does school prepare you for work? 5. What makes you want to buy something?
  8. 8. An essential question should:• be thought-provoking and grab the attention of your students• have transfer value (to other content areas)• link to prior knowledge• require core content that you will be covering --- Wiggins & McTighe
  9. 9. 4. Using backward designwhen planning a lesson or course
  10. 10. Backward design
  11. 11. Backward design
  12. 12. What is backward design?1. Identify what the lesson or unit outcome will be.2. Determine how you will measure it.3. Choose one or two essential questions to guide learning.4. Select readings that will provide content students need to students reach the outcome.5. Design your activities.
  13. 13. 5. Using questions to frame your lessons will: • give students a __________ for learning • keep the focus of attention on __________ rather than covering points or completing activities • elicit __________views; cause students to __________what they know • lead to __________ thinking • show students the value of __________ and discussion for knowledge and understanding • introduce concepts that can __________ to other areas of study
  14. 14. Questions leadstudents to thecontent, through thecontent, and finallyto write about thecontent.
  15. 15. 6.Lookingat aquestion-centeredlesson
  16. 16. Theme: Life eventsSkills:• Reading- building reading fluency• Vocabulary- using the dictionary• Grammar- simple past with regular and irregular verbs• Writing- showing sequence.
  17. 17. An essential question should:• be thought-provoking and grab the attention of your students• have transfer value (to other content areas)• link to prior knowledge• require core content that you will be covering --- Wiggins & McTighe
  18. 18. ESSENTIALQUESTION:What events changeour lives?LEARNINGOUTCOME:Write a paragraphabout an event in yourlife.
  19. 19. Questions lead students to the contentNumber the important life events. In what order dothey usually happen? Did any of these events happento you recently? Discuss your answers with a partner.tgot a job t got married t graduated from collegetgraduated from high school t started schooltmoved to a different home t was bornDiscuss the question with your classmates:What events change our lives?
  20. 20. Reading 1In 1993, Greg Mortenson made a promise, and it changed his life completely. Hepromised to build a school in a small village in Pakistan. Before that, his dream wasto climb the tallest mountains in the world. Now his dream is more challenging: tobuild schools. In the summer of 1993, Mortenson started a very dangerous climb up K-2 inPakistan. His dream was to climb to the top. Two thousand feet from the top of themountain, a man in Mortenson’s group had an accident. As a result, Mortenson neverreached his dream. He was extremely disappointed. During the trip down themountain, he got lost in the snow. After many days, he found a tiny mountainvillage. He was exhausted and couldn’t walk. The village residents of Korphe (kor-fe) welcomed him. They were very poor,but they took care of Mortenson for many months. The village didn’t have a teacheror a school. Mortenson decided to build a school for the village. He wanted to give avaluable gift to them—education. That decision changed his life. [Reading text continues]
  21. 21. Questions lead students through the content. Think about the Unit question, What events change our lives? Answer the questions. Then discuss your answers with a partner. 1. Which events happened in your life? Check the boxes. [List of boxes to check.] 2. Which event changed your life? When did this event happen? How did it change your life?
  22. 22. Write a paragraph about an event in your life.Students are led through the brainstorming,planning, and writing process. They areencouraged first to think again about theessential question, What events change ourlives? They make a timeline about a personalevent that was important, answer questionsabout the event, and then write.
  23. 23. How can I use this approach with thematerials I have?
  24. 24. From MakingConnections,McIntire &Williams
  25. 25. 7. What is an essential question you can use in your classroom next week? It should be: • be thought-provoking and grab the attention of your students • have transfer value (to other content areas) • link to prior knowledge • require core content that you will be covering
  26. 26. Some useful resources Review copies available. Please complete form.
  27. 27. Download copies of a version of thesePowerPoint slides (minus copyrighted materials) Thank you !