I’m working on my final project for the common core course I’m taking, with Pandora playing nicely in the background. Jack Johnson’s song “Questions” starts, and I had to stop and think about the lyrics. Johnson sings about people’s internal need to be asked questions. We like to talk about ourselves and the people we love when given the opportunity to answer questions. Now, the goal of the core, is to get students to see that the world is run on questions. Without questions we don’t get improvements or knowledge. We stay stuck. Our new goal as a teacher is to teach students to ask quality questions, and then help them learn the tools to find answers to those questions. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but I really enjoyed watching the video about using the pinwheel discussion from teacher tube. This lesson challanges students to make connections between texts, back up their claims with evidence, and to ask insightful and meaningful questions — a common core dream.
I think I’d like to try this with my War Lit unit with the Juniors and my short story unit with the Seniors. I plan to flush out those details more fully in the next couple of weeks.
The views on this blog are mine alone and do not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.
Kari teaches English I to 9th graders (!) and other electives in rural Iowa. Her husband is also an English teacher, and their friends have sworn to never help them move again because "even libraries don't have that many books."