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Common Core Standards Response to Intervention (RtI) Special Education ELL/ESL/Dual-Language Classrooms At Home Training

Common Core State Standards

Text-dependent Questions

What Are Text-dependent Questions?

Text-dependent questions are those that can only be answered by referring back to the text being read. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require students to “read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.” They must also cite pertinent evidence from the text when responding orally or when writing an answer to questions about the text. Students can no longer rely solely on prior knowledge or personal experience.
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Why Are Text-dependent Questions Important?

Good text-dependent questions guarantee careful investigation of text. They will often lead students to discover something important that may have been overlooked the first time they read the text. They guide students to dive deeper into the text, and to answer or identify the core understandings or insights that are essential.

Text-dependent questions can be used by the teacher to promote discussion and help students to understand even better what they are reading. They can be used to start student discussions and give students opportunities to discuss the text with each other and voice their opinions.

The Common Core ELA Standards require moving instruction away from generic questions such as, “What is the main idea and three supporting details?” to questions that require students to analyze what they are reading. An example of a text-dependent question would be something like “The article describes the male emperor penguin as ‘tough’. Give two pieces of information from the article that demonstrates how they are tough.”

Does Learning A-Z support teaching/using text-dependent questions?

Reading A-Z

Text-dependent questions that students respond to verbally or in writing can be found in a multitude of supporting instructional resources across Reading A-Z.

Leveled Book Common Core Lesson Supplements contain a section devoted to text-dependent questions.

Every Leveled Book has a complete guided reading lesson plan, comprehension quiz, and set of discussion cards (levels A-Z). Each discussion card is tagged with the specific reading skill it targets, such as:

  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect
  • Make inferences/draw conclusions
  • Analyze and evaluate

All Shared Reading Books come with a five-day lesson plan, with a section devoted to text-dependent questions. Each Shared Reading Projectable Book with Prompts offers opportunities for readers to complete tasks and interact with the projectable tools to answer text-dependent questions.

A text-dependent Key Question is the focus of every Close Reading Pack. Multiple re-reads of the text encourage students to closely read in order to answer the Key Question.

Paired Books lessons include a set of text-dependent questions that require students to closely read and compare and contrast two related texts.

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Science A-Z

Science A-Z offers teachers and students access to multiple resources that ask text-dependent questions. These include Quick Reads, Discussion Cards, and Unit Quizzes (Animal unit example K-2). These questions promote critical thinking skills and require students to closely re-read a section of text in order to fully understand a concept or fact.

Our Investigation Packs are sets of student texts built around answering a text-dependent Key Question. Students each read one file. Then as a group, they collect evidence from the text to identify what all the files had in common.

Focus Books help students more deeply explore the content covered in Science A–Z units. Each book contains a Focus Question (text-dependent) to set the purpose for reading and to connect to a key science concept. After reading the book, students answer questions of varying complexity that assess their reading comprehension while encouraging them to think critically.

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All of the comprehension questions presented in Headsprout's reading comprehension sequence require that students reference the text to arrive at an answer. Students are taught to apply a five-step sequence to each question:

  1. Read the passage carefully
  2. Read the question and the possible answers
  3. Identify which comprehension strategy is required to answer the question
  4. Look back in the passage and click on the sentence that provides the information (or a portion of the information) necessary to answer the question
  5. Answer the question. Headsprout teaches students to apply these steps to inferential, literal, main idea, and vocabulary questions, and many of these exercises include questions about text and illustrations that accompany the text.
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