South Washington County Schools

Text-Dependent Questions

What are Text-Dependent Questions?

  • Text-Dependent Questions are the driving force of close reading.
  • They serve not only as a scaffold for learning, but also a main driver of close reading.
  • Quite simply - a good Text-Dependent Question requries students to return to the text as the basis for their answer.
  • These questions frame the extended discussion of a text and invite children to co-construct knowledge in the company of their teacher.
  • These questions advance students through a process of more deeply understanding a text.

Why are we making this shift?

  • Close reading encourages students to use the text as the basis for their answers.
  • Text-Dependent Questions help students identify:
  • What does the text say?
  • How does the text work?
  • What does the text mean?
  • What does the text inspire you to do?

Think of this as extension of Costa's level of questions as you go.  TDQ's help you get to higher level questions.

How should we use Text-Dependent Questions?

  • Teachers must do a close reading of the text prior to students - so you gain a clear understanding of what the text is saying and what you want students to learn.
  • Resist turning close reading into an independent activity - our goal is Independence, but TDQ's are meant to scaffold understanding for students.  These questions are great for classroom discussion, think-pair-share or small group work.
  • Listen to students to make sure they are using the text as a basis for answers.

What does this look like in 833?

Click here for a video showing how to create Text Dependent Questions in 833.

Additional Resources: