This module is for High School Exploration 1

The Role of Text-Dependent Questions

In order for you to deepen your knowledge of TDQs, 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. For this portion of the module, you will be focusing on the Reading for Information Literacy Standards of the MCCRS.

It is important for high school teachers to note that the standards are grade-banded for 9th - 10th grades and 11th - 12th grades.  The rigor between these two bands is important for teachers to review, analyze, and internalize as they write text-dependent questions. For example, with regard to Standard 1 for grades 9 - 10, students must cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.  By grades 11 - 12, students must master what was expected in grades 9 - 10 as well as determine where the text leaves matters uncertain

Throughout this module, be conscious of the increasing demands of the high school MCCRS as you apply your knowledge of the standards to the development of text-dependent questions so that when students leave high school, they are college and career ready.

In this module you will be examining three texts of historical significance: The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, all texts aligned to the 11th - 12th grade band and included in Appendix B of the CCSSopens in new window. See pages 164 and 166.

Remember, you should NOT be asking questions where students can 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 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 high school students to unlock the deepest meanings that reside in grade-level texts.

Information is drawn from Achieve the Core resources as well as Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Literacy Standards.

Tips for Annotating

At the high school level, teachers may need to remind students to use the following strategies; however, teachers should foster an environment where students are using the strategies as independently as possible to make meaning of text.

  • Highlight significant 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 development of themes or concepts over the course of the text.
  • Use tutorials as appropriate.