*******25 September 2012: If you use these questions, please let me know how they work for you. Also, if you reblog, tweet, pin on Pinterest, etc., PLEASE give me the credit I deserve. I’m not one for reinventing the wheel, but I worked extremely hard on this and am sharing it with my fellow teachers out of the kindness of my heart.
Teachers are all too familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy – levels of questioning that start off with recalling information and work their way up to the highest levels of thinking with analyzing and creating. When we create assignments for our students, we use these stems to make sure that we have varying levels of difficulty and that our students are being asked to work at their highest level of ability.
For years, I have wanted to find some way to better incorporate these questions into my classroom than just a handout for the kids to do either individually or in small groups. And I think I’ve found my answer.
Robert Marzano is another name that teachers know. He took Bloom’s Taxonomy and altered it a little bit, rearranging some categories and even adding new ones. I decided to take these question stem and create generic questions that address all the literary elements as well as purpose and style. These questions can be used when reading anything, and with a little quick thinking, the questions can be altered easily enough to be used with a specific piece of literature.
I created ten questions for each stem for a total of 70 questions that all address different levels of thinking. I printed each level on its own color of paper so that I can keep track of which questions the students are answering and how difficult (or easy) they are for each student. Welcome to my Question Can.
I made tags for each level of thinking in the same color as the questions to decorate the can. This way I can keep track of them as well. I am getting old, and might forget the categories.
Here are the questions that I created using Marzano’s stems. Feel free to print these out or change them up to work for you in your classroom. I plan on throwing in some specific questions for each piece of literature that we read, but this is a great place to start. Here’s how I imagine using these stems – each student gets to pick a question and answer it. Then we can do a Turn and Talk where partners discuss their questions and answers. Then we can bring it back to a whole class discussion where in a Round Robin, each student shares their question and answer. Other students can take notes on the question and their own thoughts to be shared as well.
Let me know what you think of this idea and how you would use the Question Can in your own classroom! Happy teaching!