Junior Great Books Summer Academy
Transcript Junior Great Books Summer Academy
Building Interpretive and
•Speaking and Listening
generating and clarifying ideas about a story’s
•Evidence- supporting and checking these ideas,
based on what is in the story
•Response- considering alternative ideas and
adjusting an interpretation
•Speak to experiment with ideas and clarify their
•Listen to evaluate and learn from others
•Use both agreement and disagreement in a
collaborative effort to construct meaning
•See and hear the validity of divergent perspectives
•Responding to Literature –
•Expository and persuasive writing
•Creative Writing –
•Other writing forms- letters, poems, stories
a distinctive method of learning in which
participants search for answers to
fundamental questions raised by a text
•Interpretive reading and discussion
•Questions of genuine doubt
•Textual support for interpretations
•Focus on reading comprehension and
Factual – Factual questions have one right
answer that can be supported by the text.
Interpretive – questions have more than one
right answer that can be supported by the text.
Evaluative – questions have more than one
right answer that can be supported by our own
values, knowledge, or experiences of life.
Focus on interpretation and discussion of
Each unit consists of:
- Story Introduction
- Two readings of the story
- Questioning and note-taking activities
- Shared Inquiry discussion
- Writing activities
Before Reading Strategy
Connect to story, genre, background knowledge
Introduce important vocabulary
How would you introduce this story?
Levels the playing field for students
SHARING QUESTIONS and
Clear up misunderstandings
Get help with vocabulary
Set the selection more firmly in mind
Pose interpretive or evaluative questions
Starting point for interpretive thinking
with DIRECTED NOTES
Texts are complex.
We want students to be very familiar with events
and ideas in the story.
Use post-it notes to mark places in the story
related to specific ideas or characters
Interpreting Through Art and
My favorite part
Something that the story reminds me of
Something from the story that scared me
A part of the story I thought was funny
A sentence form the story that I liked and why
Why I like/do not like this story
A part of the story I’m still wondering bout
A note to the main character
Place the word in context
Define the word
Use the word
Ask a question about the story using the word
Add to Curious Words
Conducting Shared Inquiry
Arrange seating in a circle
An arrangement in which the leader and students can see, listen
to, and talk directly to one another encourages genuine
interaction and stimulates discussion.
Having the leader be part of the discussion group and sit at eye
level helps to avoid the teacher being seen as the authority on
the story’s meaning. It communicates the kind of respect,
responsibility, and empowerment desired.
Prepare a Seating Chart
During discussion, leaders take note of ideas and keep
track of participation with the help of a seating chart.
Placing checkmarks beside students' names as they
participate can help ensure that everyone has had the
opportunity to join in the discussion.
Notes give you some record of the ideas expressed and
can help you formulate follow-up questions.
Guidelines for Shared Inquiry
Review the Guidelines
1. Read the story carefully before participating in the
2. Discuss only the story everyone has read.
3. Support your ideas with evidence from the story.
4. Listen to other participants and respond to them
5. Expect the leader to only ask questions.
Pose an Interpretive Question
Interpretive questions can be validly answered in
more than one way.
Shared Inquiry focuses on a question that can be
adequately answered in more than one way, and
that calls for supporting evidence and reasoning.
An interpretive question is most likely to generate
a lively discussion.
They allow the leader and students to unlock the
meaning of the text together through close and
careful reading and discussion
Building Your Answer Form
This form is a place for students to write down the
focus question they will discuss and their answer
to that question.
Before discussion even begins, it is important for
students to understand that there can be more
than one good or valid answer to the question. This
will help them feel free to try out ideas and explore
an issue in depth.
Reflect and Write
Give students ample time to reflect and write an answer
People think in different ways and at different rates. It is
too easy to jump into discussion before everyone is truly
Writing helps students think; it demands that they
articulate their ideas in words and sentences. After writing,
students are in a much better position to contribute
constructively to the discussion.
Students who have written are also in a better position to
listen to and appreciate the ideas of others. They don’t have
to worry that they will forget their idea, and they have an
established viewpoint from which to consider other
Shared Inquiry Discussion
Lead discussion by asking questions
Understand another student's idea or answer
Back up ideas with evidence from the text
Express agreement or disagreement
Talk directly to one another
Pursue implications and answers
Use follow-up questions
The leader asks follow-up questions that invite
students to explain their comments, revisit the
text, and develop their ideas.
They encourage students to…
Support their idea with evidence
Respond to one another’s ideas
Shared Inquiry is a reflective process.
In a discussion, interpretive questions provide the
problem, while students’ ideas and the leader’s
follow-up questions move each person toward an
End Discussion After…
When students begin to range well outside the
scope of the question, it can be a signal that
their curiosity for that question has been
When the same answer seems to be repeated
with little or no development, it can be a sign to
Did you change your answer?
Did you hear an idea you especially liked?
What different answers to the question did you
Are there other questions about the story we have
• Responding to Literature –
• Essay development
• Expository and persuasive writing
• Creative Writing –
• Other writing forms- letters, poems, stories
Additional Activities Supporting Shared
Teacher's Editions and Leader's Guides contain suggested activities
designed to help students prepare for Shared Inquiry Discussion and to
continue their exploration of meaning.
Generating and sharing questions
In a Shared Inquiry discussion students
- Think for themselves
- Concentrate on interpretation
- Develop ideas and implications thoroughly
- Use factual information from the text to support their
- Recognize and respond to competing answers and
- Consider, evaluate, and use the insights of others