Big Questions 2 and 3

Class began the usual way, but there was no Welcome Activity today. While students read, I looked over their “What surprised me?” notes from the night before, and I gave them feedback. This feedback isn’t something that will go into the gradebook, but it gives students an idea of where they are and what they need to work on.

After reading, we moved into Notebook Thinking. Today is normally a CNN10 day, but CNN10 is not working on my computer at the moment, so it turned into video Thursday. The video prompt is attached below. I invited students to write about a time they felt rejected or how/why they think this “rejection therapy” works. Would they ever consider trying it? Do you fear rejection? etc.

After NBT, I showed students an example of an article with really excellent “What surprised me?” notes, so they could see what I’m looking for and work towards that if they aren’t there quite yet.

I introduced Day 2 of weekly words where we write down synonyms and antonyms for each word, so we reviewed what synonym and antonym mean in case those ideas “fell out of our heads” over the summer. 🙂 As a class, we came up with synonyms and antonyms for both aplomb and brackish, and then the students worked in their groups on the other two words before sharing out as a class.


The main focus of class came next. Students were able to discuss with a partner the things that surprised them about the article we read, and then I mentioned what happens when you watch a movie or read a book for a second time: you notice new things! The same thing happens to us as readers, and it can make our understanding and thoughts about an article even deeper.

This is where the next two big questions come in: What did the author assume I already knew? What challenged, changed, or confirmed by belief?

N&N – Student Anchor Chart – BQ Already KnewChallenged

I modeled this second reading to the students using the two big questions.


Afterwards, students were invited to either work with a partner or work by themselves to finish reading the article a second time with these two questions in mind. They were to make note of FOUR things that challenged, changed, or confirmed what they already believed about this topic.

After they finished their notes, they grabbed one of the question sheets from the stool to work on their homework – answering two questions about this article. Many students were able to finish in class!

N&N – Ugly Side of the Internet Article QUESTIONS


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Finish answering the TWO questions about the cyberbullying article. Make sure to read the directions.