Using Concept Questions to Differentiate
So, how is it possible for teachers to manage and “control” the class if every student is reading what he or she wants to read? EASY. Based on the interests and reading levels of the students, devise THEMES or CONCEPTS for the year. The ones I have used are “Friendships,” “Struggles and Perseverance,” “Heroes,” “Destiny,” and “Other Worlds.”
Each student will select from a large quantity of books that fit well with the theme. Do not forget to ask your media specialist and other teachers for possible titles.
Each student can discuss his or her book in relation to the CONCEPT QUESTIONS. Below is an example. When students start to add their own questions to the list, they are clearly HOOKED!
Concept Questions Regarding Relationships & Community
- What are the essentials that build a strong friendship?
- Do friendships change over time? If so, in what ways?
- What influence does family have during different stages of our lives?
- What can we learn from our extended family (grandparents, etc.)?
- How is conflict an unavoidable part of relationships?
- How do you know if a relationship is healthy or toxic?
- What personal qualities help or obstruct the development of relationships?
- How are people changed (either positively or negatively) through their relationships with others?
- What is community and what are the individual’s duties to the community, as well as the community’s responsibilities to the individual?
- What are our responsibilities to our friends?
- What is love (platonic and romantic)?
- Does love require sacrifice?
- What is the relationship between love and trust or between love and loyalty?
- What are the boundaries of love and sacrifice, and where does one draw the line between them?
- What are the reasons that move individuals, communities, or nations to great sacrifice, and what are the consequences of these sacrifices?