I was tasked with trying to develop some scaffolding for the C step in the process. After talking with several literacy experts around the country, I found that students of all ages grapple with this challenge. So we began to engage in some metacognition around how a successful adult determines which piece of text is relevant to the question. Once we were aware of the thinking behind the scene, it was easy to make it more concrete for children.
Building on the race theme, I created a graphic organizer that included hurdles for the evidence to “jump over.”
The first hurdle question was “Is it about the topic?” This was explained as being about the topic in general.
The second hurdle question was “Is it about the specific topic of __________?” For this, students had to look very closely at the question.
The third hurdle question is “Does it support my answer?” Students were encouraged to consider their answer (pro or con, etc.)
Students built the hurdles with Wikki Stix, then took each piece of text evidence and tested it to see if it could jump over the hurdle and get to the finish line.
As we reflected on the lesson, my colleagues and I agreed on the power of making our adult thinking obvious and concrete to our students. Metacognitive planning led to a solid lesson with positive outcomes for students.