New Reading Unit: Asking Critical Questions

Dear Parents,
Your children are about to embark on their final journey as readers in third grade, starting towards the end of next week. This unit is about instilling in them questioning as an intellectual stance. Through questioning, they will be able to expand their knowledge and perspectives. This unit aims to guide third graders through the process of questioning at higher and higher levels in fiction texts.

Your children will first learn to question what is right in front of them-the text. This relates back to work they were doing as mystery readers, but pushes them to generalize it to all fiction books.

From there, the students will step back and question the decisions that were made in creating the text. Analyzing author’s choice is a part of the Common Core State Standards in third grade, but becomes even more important as they move into the fourth and fifth grades.

Finally, they will learn to question their own patterns of thinking and to evaluate the structure and patterns in their own lives. This also builds on the work we’ve done this year to become reflective readers.

Through out this unit, our third graders will learn to craft deeper questions and be given a tool kit of essential questions they can apply to any text. These tools will continue to support them as they move on to the fourth grade.

To support this work at home, when having a conversation with your child about the book(s) they are reading model questioning techniques by asking questions that:
-can be answered in more than one way
-require inference
-focus on important events or ideas in the book
-are asked before, during and after reading
-pertain to larger themes in the book
-show awareness of different perspectives
-question the author’s purpose
-question the author’s perspective

The more higher level questions they hear, the better they will become at questioning.

Thanks,
Miss Z

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