As I was reviewing blogs written last year at this time in May, I came across one (Magnetic Spinner Activity for Narrative Expository Text Questions) that used the Narrative/Expository Text-Based Question Cards from MindWing’s The “Core” of the Core manual (pages 171-182). This manual is chock-full of ideas for classroom use, both whole group and small group instruction.
These narrative and expository questions may be used for both fiction and nonfiction. All you have to do is print them, laminate, and cut… then choose the ones which reinforce your student goals. The questions are easily paired with your current reading selections and with SGM maps. You may also add your own questions, modified for your students, but the ones presented will certainly get you started!
In the blog referenced above, I gave an idea of using the questions in a center format. A recent visit to a classroom, however, reminded me of another way to use these questions. How many of us have “wait” time with our students… perhaps waiting for a specialists to invite students in for class or waiting for dismissal announcements, for example? This idea was one that came in very handy. Using the narrative and expository text questions, choose the category and questions that help reinforce your learning objectives and write them on popsicle/tongue depressor sticks as shown below and make SGM® Text-Based Question Sticks!
What you need for this activity:
Notice I color coded the questions into narrative (green sticks -- you may choose any color…or, use a different colored marker to differentiate!) and expository (yellow). I used an empty ice tea container for each to be stored. At times, you will find that questions may be used for both narrative and expository (ex. Think of your favorite book… Who was your favorite character in that book? Tell us three reasons why you chose that character. )
Other ways to use these sticks:
- If you are working on a specific skill (such as narrative:character) use just those questions that pertain to the topic as a “Ticket to Leave” activity for your lesson.
- This would also make a wonderful “Turn and Talk” activity. You choose the category (narrative or expository) and have the question sticks ready. Focus on one reading selection or topic that was discussed with your class. Ask students to sit in two rows and turn and face their partner. Pass the container and around so that each group has one question. Have one student ask the question, the other answer, then switch. Students may then share out the question and answers. It is a quick way to review topics.
- This same format may be used in a center by numbering the questions and asking students to write their answers in a notebook or students may orally share several questions with a partner and then choose just one to respond to in writing.
At a local dollar store, I also found this write-on/wipe-off cube at right (several brands are available online). Expand on the questions presented in the manual to suit your needs. This would make a great center activity for students to either respond to the question(s) with a partner or in writing in their response journal.
- Or, use one of these FREE DOWNLOADS (BELOW) from The “Core” of the Core manual, Narrative Text Cube and Expository Text Cube and use these cubes to do a text-based question activity using a current selection of text or literature.
Check out our The “Core” of the Core Manual for more great ideas!
Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.
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