When I was in the classroom, we worked hard to make our way to the top of the TDQ pyramid. This progression helped me go deeper with my questions with each new close read, and really build their comprehension.
What does the text say?
Here is a compare and contrast question- a “what does the text say?” question. You can see how we wrote out specific explicit evidence found in the passage to help formulate the answer:
How does the text work?
To help them “climb the pyramid,” we use the same passage for a few days.
Here is another question we did on a different day using the same passage that falls in the “how does the text work?” section. “What does the author want us to know about the giant squid?” The students were able to identify this question as being one about the author’s purpose:
And lastly, we looked at the second passage for another “how does the text work?” question… we talked a lot about how we had seen the anglerfish in Finding Nemo…
…but what if someone hadn’t seen the movie…? We talked about why images in articles can be necessary:
All of these questions helped prepare them for a discussion we had (and then wrote about, too) in the “what does the text mean?” section of the pyramid: “How do animals survive in the deepest part of the ocean?”
This sounds like a simple question, but the students actually had to do quite a bit of inferring using BOTH passages, which definitely makes it more complex. The students had to think about what both passages included, which was how they find food- giant squid’s large eyes helps it see in the darker parts and its tentacles are used to catch prey, and bioluminescent animals attract prey.
They had to put this information together to talk, and then write, about how deep-sea animals survive.
This response is not perfect by any means, but I was very proud of this kiddo because English is not her first language, and had been working so hard to cite evidence and answer the question completely!
(Want the Mysteries of the Deep set for your classroom? You can find your grade level of this set here in my store!)
How are TDQs going in your classroom?