I have realized that I am becoming obsessed with CREATE-ing (developing) text sets that lead to inquiry. In anchor 9 of the Common Core, students are being pushed to analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take. Literature...Informational Text...it does not matter. When using text sets to promote and extend inquiry opportunities, students are nudged to think beyond a venn diagram, to think beyond the fact that everything they learn is unknown to new, and to think beyond connections. Students are using connections and experiences to see components, patterns, ideas, and text structures that the author uses to learn about topic in a different way.
When creating text sets in the classroom...I have found that I have had to use the following thinking to develop these text sets...
Students need to have experiences that allow the unknown information learned today or the thinking that was developed to a different level to become tomorrow's background knowledge. Students need opportunities to not only develop background knowledge but use this knowledge to further their learning and thinking in a meaningful way.
Here is an example of a text set that leads to inquiry...
1. Sleep Like a Tiger- This book is wonderful! From the concept of problem/solution to the beautiful figurative language. All students will further their thinking with this text.
Bats, would support students in understanding if the little girl's statement is accurate.
3. Inquiry- So how do various animals sleep? This text further develops a student's thinking about the way various types of animals sleep...beyond the obvious animals...armadillos, European bee-eaters, warthogs, and more! It would be interesting to use one of these animals and try to incorporate it into the storyline of Sleep Like a Tiger. Why did the author choose those specific animals for the story based on what you have learned now? Students could also create more figurative language ideas based around the new animals in this text, Time to Sleep.
While You Were Sleeping is full of fun facts that happen at night...great for analyzing comparisons in informational text...pairs nicely with the figurative language approach to Sleep Like a Tiger. Figurative language is based on comparisons!