Text Dependent Questions
What is the instructional value of text-dependent questions? Is there ever room for text-to-self connections?
Thoughts: Instructional value. Teaching students to ask and answer text-dependent questions (TDQs) can be a powerful instructional practice for engaging students in close reading of complex text. Quality TDQs encourage students to reread text for evidence. Educators should consider TDQs as a tool for helping students interpret, analyze, contrast, predict, and evaluate text at deep levels. Common Core State Standards expect that students learn to use evidence from texts to provide analysis, form well-defended claims, and to present clear information.
Text-to-Self connections. Many times students can easily connect a personal experience to the text with only a shallow understanding of what was read. Using student experiences and personal anecdotes might be an effective strategy for motivating and engaging students, but will probably not lead to success when students are asked to use evidence from a text to analyze and evaluate ideas or author decisions. A high level cognitive response to a text should require close attention and deep thinking about the text.
- Letting the Text Take Center Stage: How the Common Core State Standards Will Transform English Language Arts Instruction by Timothy Shanahan. In this article Shanahan explains the Common Core expectation for achieving deeper depths of knowledge through text-dependent questioning.
- Text-Dependent Questions: Effective Questions about Literature and Nonfiction Texts Require Students to Delve into a Text to Find Answers by Douglas Fischer and Nancy Frey. This article addresses the use of text-to-self and text-dependent question use in the classroom.
- Achieve the Core's Text Dependent Question Section.This section of the Achieve the Core website provides guides for creating text dependent questions.