James Stephens once said, “we get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.” This is what I want for student discussion.
To ask a “well-packed” question…to talk intelligently about a text…that’s what I want my students to know and be able to do.
When facilitating a student-led discussion, students need to be able to keep the momentum going. I’ve found that sentence stems help students add inquiry to their discussions. Follow-up questions are important. Text-based talk is important.
Also, students need to know how to talk about the text. Sentence stems can help with this, too.
Sentence Stems for Student Discussion
I’ve found that sentence stems for writers can provide a framework for articulating textual analysis, so I decided to try the same approach to the asking of questions. Sentence stems provide a framework for students’ curiosity.
Sentence stems make discussions richer and more effective?
Yes and yes!
Sentence Stems for Questioning & Analysis
The infographic below is all about getting students to ask intelligent, text-based questions and enter conversations intelligently. I call them “situated questions,” questions that simultaneously draw discussion into a text (or texts) and push students to extract something from it (or them).
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