Tag Archives: Text-Dependent Questions

Wanted: “Complex, Text-Based Thinking by Students”


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The title of this post comes from a direct quote from Vicki Vinton (coauthor of What Readers Really Do with Dorothy Barnhouse) in the comments section on her blog here.  This is a HUGE shift for many teachers and students.

If we want students to be “doing” the “Complex, Text-Based Thinking” then something else will have to go.  Vicki suggests (and I agree) that this complex student thinking would replace “text-dependent questions for complex text.”

Is this appropriate?  What about text-dependent questions for complex text?  What does the Iowa Core say (100% of Common Core is inside the Iowa Core)?

The picture below is of a “word search” for “text-dependent questions” in the ENTIRE K-12 ELA document including all content area supports for grades 6-12.  Are you surprised by the results?

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The phrase “text-dependent questions” was not found when the entire document was searched.

A second search for “text-dependent” had this result.

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Again, no search items were found that corresponded to “text-dependent.”

Please check your own state standards document.  Does it “REALLY” require “text-dependent questions” or is that “someone’s” interpretation of the standards?  Should close reading result in students who can answer those text-dependent teacher questions? Or do our students deserve something better?
In the entire scheme of life, do you need students who can answer “text-dependent questions?”  
Or do you need “Complex, Text-Based Thinking by Students?”  

I am looking forward to your responses! (freezing rain is in tonight’s weather forecast in Iowa and I am not attending #NCTE13 so I conversations are welcome!)

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