The Learning Network, part of The New York Times’ Education section,is a wonderful source of teaching ideas and information. I’ve blogged about their “Poetry Pairing” columns “which consists of a poem and a short introduction to it by Ted Kooser, a former United States poet laureate and a piece from The Times that in some way echoes, extends or challenges the words and themes of the poem.” I’ve used some of these pairings in my language arts classes and am slowly collecting and assembling some pairings of my own that are sixth grade specific.
I stumbled upon another, equally wonderful, section this week: 6 Q’s About The News .
The premise is quite simple:
6 Q’S ABOUT THE NEWS
This framework is used to address a new article and is posted daily. Today’s questions were based on an article on satellites: Russian Official Suggests Weapon Caused Exploration Spacecraft’s Failure, and looked like this:
WHAT is the Phobos-Grunt?
WHY might the Russian spacecraft be falling?
WHO questioned the circumstances of the falling spacecraft?
WHERE might radar signals that could have damaged the spacecraft have originated?
WHEN do scientists expect the spacecraft to fall?
HOW did this lead to vague allegations against the United States
Reading over this particular section made me think about how my students struggle with their current events articles – we’re still learning how to read non-fiction closely and identify the most important bits of information. Sometimes, my kids “summarize” the least important points in their article and miss the key ideas entirely. Looking at these questions made me think of approaching current events in a different way. How much more closely would my kids have to read their articles if they also had to frame questions based on the article?
Before our next current events rounds, I think we will use some of the NYTs 6Q’s About The News to learn how to go about doing this. Perhaps the title of our project will be 6 Q’s About My News – my students would have to come up with 6 questions in addition to their summary. I’m hoping that this added twist leads to closer reading…and a better understanding about the main ideas in their current event articles of choice.