Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to...
Ask questions that deepen our understanding of the text
Code the text with a "Q" and jot down the questions we ask as we read


  • Student Worksheet 3 (attached)
  • Transparencies of Sold (attached)
  • Post-it notes (so that students can code their novels)
Do Now: (Add a Do Now to the Student Notes so that students have something to complete upon entering the room. I like to use this opportunity to spiral skills from prior lessons or to ask students to journal about a life experience that might help them to make a connection with today's lesson.)

Connection: (Note to the Instructor: My students have already learned to code the text to show their use of

reading strategies like making connections, visualizing, making predictions, and determining importance. If your students have not learned how to code the text to show evidence of strategy use, you will want to modify this connection.)

What have we already learned how to code? (Take student responses.)

Remember, we code the text to show evidence of our thinking, evidence of our use of reading strategies. Plus, when we do a good job coding the text, we have easy access to notes for discussion with our literature circles.

We’ve spent the last couple of days using a graphic organizer to help us ask before, during and after-reading questions. But realistically, you’re not always going to read with a graphic organizer next to you, so we need to talk about a smartcut for how to record your questions without that graphic organizer. You guessed it: we’ll be coding questions on sticky notes today.

Direct Instruction/Guided Practice: When you ask questions before, during and after reading, you will be coding “Q” and recording your question on a post-it note. Let me show you how this works. Today we’re going to be reading from Sold by Patricia McCormick. Sold is the story of a thirteen-year-old girl named Lakshmi who is sold into a prostitution ring by her impoverished family. In many countries, this practice is not unheard of.

Since we’ve been practicing asking before-reading questions, I want to make sure to do that today too. First, of course, I’m going to preview the text. (Display and describe cover, back of book, critics’ comments, chapters/titles, etc.)

I’ve already automatically made a sort of text-to-world connection even as I read a little bit about this book. I know for a fact that child prostitution is a serious world issue. It happens almost everywhere, though certainly it happens more frequently in some places than in other places.

Anyway, this text-to-world connection I made has actually caused me to ask a lot of questions rapid-fire. I’m wondering how common a phenomenon this is. How often are young girls and young boys sold into prostitution? In which countries does this happen most often? What is the average age of these children? How many of them get out of the “business”? Are their families aware of what’s happening to them, or are they tricked into selling their children?

Whew! That’s a lot of questions. I don’t intend to write a book myself though; I intend to read one. I need to limit my questions to one really good question which I will code right at the beginning of the first chapter.

My one really good question is this: How often are children sold into prostitution, and where does this occur most frequently? I’m going to code this on my post-it note and stick it right at the beginning of the book. (Model on overhead. This means you’ll have to “draw” a sticky note and write the question inside of it.) First, of course, I’m going to write “Q” and circle it. Then I’m going to write my question.

Now let’s work on coming up with a during-reading question. I’m counting on you to help me out with this. I’ll read to about the half-way point, then stop to see if we’ve come up with any questions. If not, I’ll read a bit further. Really think, though, as we read, about what your brain is doing and whether or not you have any questions to ask about this text. (Read aloud. Take questions where appropriate.)

Now that we’ve finished our reading, can someone help us to pose an after-reading question? Remember, you want to come up with a question that’s really going to get us thinking. (Take responses.)

Link:Now it’s your turn. As you read today, what will you be doing? (Have students read through the directions in the “Link” section of the notes.)

Independent Practice: S read silently and code questions using sticky notes. T helps groups to select novels for the fourth unit and circulates to check for understanding.

Share: Our time for today is up. Please feel free to turn to your partner and share your work for today. Remember, you should be checking in about your assigned pages and sharing what you coded. (Allow time.)

Before we close out today, I’d like you to do one thing for me quickly please. Listen to all of the directions first. I want you to leaf through your literature circle novel and pull your best sticky-noted question out of the text. I want you to write your name on the back of that sticky note, and pass it in. You may begin. (Allow time.)

Closing: Today we discussed one more symbol you can use when you code the text, the “Q” to signify a question you’re asking before, during or after reading. It’s time for million dollar question!

1. Name five different symbols you can use to code the text and their meanings. (Many possible responses.)

2. What is the difference between a “thick” question and a “thin” question? (Thick questions really make you think and are difficult to answer; thin questions are simple, easy-to-answer recall questions.)

3. Note to the Instructor: Insert your own question here based upon objectives your students have mastered up until this point in the year.

4. Why do we ask questions? (To help us become more thoughtful critics, to push our own thinking and the thinking of our peers, etc.)


Novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice. Active reading strategy: coding the text.

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