Posted on 12/20/2015 at 08:34 PM by Blog Experts

                                                                     January 2016 Reading Blog


Text Dependent Questions


Blog Written By:  Teresa Murray, NWAEA Educational Consultant/CIM Coach


The Common Core State Standards / Iowa Core Standards requires that students spend less time “outside” of the text.  This translates to students relying less on background knowledge. Instead, with the new expectations students will learn to read text more carefully by examining the details and claims while also citing evidence from the text to support their own conclusions. These are lifelong skills that prepare students not only for college or the workforce, but for life.

However, this does not mean there’s no place for personal connections/responses or text-to-self connections in the Common Core Classroom. In fact, after the text is fully analyzed students will have better-quality personal responses. They will be better able to support their personal connections with specific details/claims from the text.

As we make the shift to common core instruction, teachers should be asking text-dependent questions and students should be providing text-based answers.  

Click here to download Text Dependent Questions poster.

©2012 Created by Dr. Ruth A. Hill. Based on the work of Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey.

©2015 Created by Emily Koson Adapted from Frey, N. & Fisher, D.

Checklist for Evaluating Question Quality


Text Under Review (include page #s):                                                                                          





Comments/Questions/Fixes (refer to specific questions!):

A. Text Dependent: These things must be true of every question in the set. When evaluating questions, discard all questions that get a “no” in Section A


A1. Does the student have to read the text to answer each question?



A2. Is it always clear to students that answering each question requires that they must use evidence from the text to support their claims? (Standard One should always be in play!)


B. Important Considerations: These are design factors to keep in mind for the entire question and task set.


B1. Do students have an opportunity to practice speaking and listening while they work with these questions and tasks?



B2. Do questions include appropriate scaffolding so all students can understand what is being asked (Are the questions worded in such a way that all students can access them)?



B3. At tricky or key points in the text are there check-in questions for students to answer so that teachers can check on students’ understanding and use these sections to enhance reading proficiency?



B4. Do questions provide an opportunity for students to determine the meaning of academic vocabulary in context? When possible, do some of these questions explore some aspect of the text as well as important vocabulary?



B5. Does the mix of questions addressing syntax, vocabulary, structure and other inferences match the complexity of the text?



C. Text Specific:


C1. Are the questions specific enough so they can only be answered by reference to this text?




C2.Are the inferences students are asked to make grounded logically in the text (Can they be answered with careful reading rather than background knowledge)?


D. Organization of the Questions:


D1. Do the early questions in the sequence focus on specific phrases and sentences to support basic comprehension of the text and develop student confidence before moving on to more challenging tasks? 



D2. Are the questions coherently sequenced? Do they build toward gradual understanding of the text’s meaning?



D3. Do the questions stay focused on the text and only go beyond it to make other connections in extension activities after the text has been explored?



D4. If multiple texts/different media are under consideration, are students asked to examine each text closely before making connections among texts?


E. Culminating Activity or Writing Prompt:


E1. Does the culminating task call on the knowledge and understanding acquired through the questions?



E2. Does the writing prompt in the culminating task demand that students write to the text and use evidence?



E3. Are the instructions to teacher and student clear about what must be performed to achieve proficiency?



E4. Is this a task worthy of the student and classroom time it will consume? 



Achieve The Core 

Click here to download the Checklist for Evaluating Question Quality


Additional Resources:

Fisher and Frey PPT

Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions



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