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Collaborative Questioning
Lesson Objective
The student will be able to engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions and come to discussions prepared, having read
or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under
discussion. The student will follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles. The student will pose and respond
to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion. The student will
review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
Background Information for Teacher
Student Prior Knowledge
An article or text on a science or social studies topic of your choice (Preferably something of interest to the student).
Questioning worksheet (Step 3)
Costa’s level of questioning poster/overhead (Step 3)
Step-by-Step Guided Lesson
Step 1: Start Video
(Tips: Interact with the video by pausing, to ask questions or discuss information viewed with student.)
Step 2: Teach Lesson
Teacher will ask the student what they have been discussing with siblings, friends, or other family members together.
For example, baseball, a popular singer, etc…
Ask the student to briefly describe what it is like when they discuss something with their friends. Post a copy of the “Critical Thinking:
Levels of Questioning” worksheet for the student to see. Explain that in everyday discussions, you ask questions based on a variety
of levels of critical thinking.
For example: What is the name of the Giant’s pitcher (Level 1)? Are the Giant’s going to win the World Series
again (Level 3)? What are some obstacles they may have (Level 2/3)? What is your opinion (Level 3)?
Explain that we are going to generate and answer questions to generate one-on-one discussions about a topic. The teacher will
select a text. The text should be about an event in Science or History. The student can read the text aloud.
Have the “Critical Thinking: Levels of Questioning” worksheet posted for reference. Explain to the student that when we discuss
something, there are various levels of discussion, and that the discussion begins with questions.
Explain that in Level 1 questions, you simply need to identify an answer.
For example: How many hours does it take for the earth to make a full rotation?
Showing the chart, explain that in level 2 questions, you need to explain and analyze facts. For example: Why does Earth rotate at a
different speed than Jupiter?
Explain that in Level 3 questions, you can evaluate facts or make opinions based on facts: Do you believe it would be better to live on
a planet that spins at a different speed?
Give the student about 10 minutes to re-read the text independently. Instruct them to think of questions that they could ask and write
their questions on the worksheet according to Costa’s levels, using the guide words to create the questions. (This works best if you
also write a couple of questions).
After 10-15 minutes, if the student is struggling to come up with questions, work with them to create more questions. Give the student
5 minutes to answer 2 of the questions and discuss the answers. Repeat until all questions are answered.
Ask the student what they think was the most interesting question. Lead a discussion based on the student’s answer.
Step 3: Complete the worksheet attached below.
Worksheets needed to complete the lesson
Step 4: Review. Start the next lesson with the game or activity attached below for review so the student can demonstrate
understanding of this lesson before moving forward.
Researching with a Purpose (online & offline) project
Ask the student what they would like to learn more about, then have the student write 2-3 questions for each Costa level. Once the
student has created their questions, they can then go to library or online and research the answers. For an extra challenge have the
student use the questions and answers to write a simple research paper or a poster board presentation.