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Engaging With Literature: A Workshop for Teachers, Grades 3-5
Workshop
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About This Workshop

Asking Questions: An Interactive Guide
1. Foundations
2. Looking at Literature

3. Starting Classroom Conversations

4. Classroom Dialogues

5. Using Art and Other Disciplines To Enrich Classroom Conversations

6. Beginning the Year

7. Many Students: Many Voices and Abilities

8. Reacting to Students’s Work

9. The Professional Teacher
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Asking Questions: An Interactive Guide


Students need knowledgeable support in order for them to effectively interact with literature. Often, that support can come from a teacher asking just the right question at just the right time.

This activity will help you explore some ways to ask open-ended questions based on a work of literature.

Move your cursor over the text as you read it. Sample questions you can ask will appear in the right-hand column.

Questions like these can:

  • Invite readers into the text.
  • Help them call on past experiences in life and literature.
  • Help them begin to create their own evolving picture of the story world.
  • Help them develop their own evolving picture of the story world by refining that picture.
  • Help them extend their own evolving picture of the story world by looking at the story as a whole or the reading experience in its entirety.

The text in this activity is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Once you have practiced with this activity, choose a text of your own and jot down several questions you could use to help your students become actively engaged in its words.

Begin the activity.

Explore the conversation from the first group of teachers.
Use the  Audio Controller to listen to the teachers.

Explore the conversation from the second group of teachers.
Use the  Audio Controller to listen to the teachers.



In this workshop, teachers demonstrated how open-ended questions can spark a rich discussion about literature. Excerpts from their conversation are included in the video for Workshop 1. Foundations. You can read and/or listen to the entire text of their conversation here. The text they are talking about is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is the same text used in the Asking Questions activity.

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