I love how the authors have these sections set up. They begin with a little information and then provide us with a lesson. They walk us through it by steps. First entering he classroom, then begin by explaining, move to applying, end with reviewing, a close up on a student conversation and then questions you may have. This provides the reader with a visual of what a lesson on this signpost should look like.
So what are tough questions? These are a way the author gives us insight into the main character's struggles. These should cause us to think and wonder. Unfortunately, these are often overlooked and the reader keeps reading on instead of pausing and thinking. This is where we now know the signpost and know to pause and think. This is where we teach the students to recognize this signpost and to pause and wonder. If the reader understands the struggles of the main character then it is easier for you to make a text to self connection.
There should be a chart for each signpost posted to assist the students. These are great teaching tools and resources for the classroom.
Here is my poster for Tough Questions:
As we all know, modeling is the key to success! Always model how to recognize and focus on the particular signpost that is being taught! Think out loud. Show the students how to wonder about the tough question!
There are questions at the end of this section, they are questions that we as educators may have. They are really thought provoking. Here are a few:
1. I can get students to spot the Tough Question, and I can even get them to ask themselves the anchor question, but most of them want to say simply, "I wonder what the answer is." Too many of them think that's enough. How do I get them to wonder more deeply?
2. Do some genres rely more heavily on Tough Questions?
Now for Words of the Wise, this section is set up like the others so I like the consistency! So what are Words of the Wise? They are a serious and quiet talk with another. Like when your mom and dad sit and talk to you is an example you can use when teaching this signpost. When the wiser character offers advice to another character. Then the students make a text to self connection. What was the life lesson and how will it affect me?
As usual, modeling is best and so is displaying a poster about this signpost.
Here is the poster I created to display for this signpost:
And of course there are the questions that we may have section. Here are a few questions that were asked:
1. How much time should I set aside for this lesson?
2. Once the students find the scene in which the wiser character is sharing information, I understand that the student should ask the anchor question. But aren't there other important questions about this scene?
This really is a must have resource for close reading. Please go check out what these other amazing educators have shared about these signposts!