This module is for Middle School Exploration 1

The Role of Text-Dependent Questions

In order for you to deepen your knowledge of text-dependent questions, you must regularly engage with rigorous text, expand your understanding of the MCCRS, and challenge yourself to ask questions that can only be answered by referring explicitly to the text as the basis for answers.

“Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros is a sixth grade text and therefore is aligned to MCCRS for grade 6.  However, it is important for middle school teachers to note that the rigor of the standards increases through the middle school grades. For example, with regard to Anchor Standard 1 for grade 6, students must cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. By 7th grade, students need to cite several pieces of textual evidence to support their analysis of the text. In 8th grade, students must cite textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Throughout this module, we will be conscious of the increasing demands of the middle school MCCRS as we apply our knowledge of the standards to the development of TDQs for “Eleven.”

Remember, for TDQs you should NOT ask questions that allow students to rely on their prior knowledge and personal experiences; rather, you must place a premium on the text itself and what students are able to extract to better understand the text as a whole.

Explore the topics in the activity below to learn about text-dependent questions, as well as some general guidelines and strategies for generating questions that allow middle school students to unlock the deepest meanings that reside in grade-level texts.

Tips for Annotating

At the middle school level, teachers will need to explicitly teach students how to:

  • Highlight key words and phrases.
  • Use codes or symbols in the margins to keep track of important ideas.
  • Use sticky notes to keep track of details that relate to the overall theme or concept.
  • Use tutorials as appropriate.