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Option #1

Worthy.  Integrated.  TDQs.  Multiple Reads.  Prove it.  Make Thinking 

The text is complex enough  The lesson connects with  The lesson drives towards a  The lesson requires  The lesson makes students  Visible. 
to be worthy of a close  the content & knowledge  culminating question  students to reread key  effectively explain and  The lesson requires 
read.  goals of the unit.  through carefully planned  sections of the text for  defend their answers with  students to demonstrate 
text-dependent questions.  deeper meaning.  textual evidence.  deepening understanding 
of the text. 
Remind yourself of the standard that are you addressing...What is the rigor (thinking required)?
1. Identify the “key understandings” of this text. 
Key understanding = Write a specific sentence; what you want students to have learned (or to know) after reading this text. 
● Non-example: “How to make informed decisions when it comes to eating Pacific Cod.” 
● Example: “Pacific Cod fishing can be life threatening for other species of wildlife, knowing this allows me to make choices as a consumer.” 
Key Understanding(s) 
2. What is the overarching/focus question you want your students to be able to answer after they read this text? Turn your key understanding 
(above) into a question. 
Culminating Focus Question 
3. Write a sample response. What do students need to know and be able to do in order to answer this overarching/focus question? 
Sample Student Response 
4. Consider the overarching/focus question you just created and answered. Start chunking your text, and draft a sequence of text-dependent 
questions that will scaffold students toward being able to answer this question. Think about what students need to notice, consider, and 
comprehend in order to answer your focus question (main ideas, details, vocabulary, tone, author’s purpose, structure, etc.). You’ll need to 
anticipate. Use your Text talk tool &/or the examples to help you!  
Text-Dependent Questions 
Characteristic of 
Text Complexity   

Reflection Questions 
● How is your overarching/focus question derived from the text’s unique features and aligned to your lesson objective?  
● How does your overarching/focus question require students to synthesize information gleaned from the text? 
● How are your TDQs aligned to the overarching/focus question? How do they evolve from concrete to higher order to help students build 
understanding and increase their ability to answer the overarching/focus question? (Think about the 4 Phases) 
● How do your TDQs require students to use textual evidence to support their responses?  
● How do your TDQs provide a variety of ways for students to think and respond?  
● How are your TDQs aligned to aspects of the text that are complex?  
Option #2 5 Steps for Creating TDQs

1. Think about what you think is the most important learning to be drawn from the text. Note this for the overarching/focus
question, or for other culminating activities to build toward.

2. Determine the key ideas of the text. Create a series of questions structured to bring the reader to an understanding of

3. Locate the most powerful academic words in the text and integrate questions and discussions that explore their role into
the set of questions above. Consider if there are any other academic words that students would profit from focusing on.
Build discussion planning or additional questions to focus attention on them.

4. Find the sections of the text that will present the greatest difficulty and craft questions that support students in mastering
these sections. These could be sections with difficult syntax, particularly dense information, and tricky transitions or
places that offer a variety of possible inferences.

5. Remind yourself of the standards/LTLTs that you are addressing, does this exist in the series of questions above? Then
decide if any other standards are suited to being a focus for this text. If so, form questions that exercise those standards.+
Cliff Notes for creating TDQs

Qualitative Look For &/or Think about Examples of Questions


Knowledge Phase 1: “What it says.” ● What is the text saying?

Overall view ● What happens in the text?

Sequence of Information
Story Arc ● Who are the characters?
Main claim and evidence
Gist of passage ● What is the topic of this article?

Structure and Phase 2: “How it works.” ● How did the author organize it?
Shades of Meaning ● What literary devices were used and how effective were they?
Figurative Language
Bridges literal & inferential ● What was the quality of the evidence?
Denotation ● If data were presented, how was that done?
How organization contributes ● If any visual texts (e.g., diagrams, tables, illustrations) were presented, how was that
to meaning done?

● Why did the author choose this word or that word?

● Was the meaning of a key term consistent or did it change across the text?

Meaning/Purpose Phase 3: “What it means” ● What does this text mean?

Probe the arguments in ● What was the author’s point?

persuasive text.
Probe ideas in an ● What does it have to say to me about my life or my world?
informational text.
Probe key details in a literary ● How do I evaluate the quality of this work—aesthetically, substantively?
● How does this text connect to other texts I know?Whose story/POV is not represented?