One of the main texts we use to guide our reading instruction is the amazing Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. This book provides us with the foundation for having deeper reading conversations and a common language as we develop our thoughts. While the book has excellent text ideas to use as mentor texts, I thought it would be nice for my students to use picture books on the very first day of a new strategy before we delve into the longer text excerpts. I have therefore looked for picture books I could use with the different strategies and will publish posts as I have them for the 6 different strategies since I cannot be the only one looking for ideas.
The first post was on Contrast & Contradictions, then followed Aha Moments, so this week it is Tough Questions. Apparently, this is a harder one to find picture books for so I found a few, but then turned to the awesome Notice and Note Facebook group I am a part of to crowd source more ideas.
White Water by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein has several tough questions in it and also doubles as an amazing book to discuss a really powerful topic with students; racial segregation. This is the book I used to introduce the strategy to my students with the bonus of having aha moments and a contrast and contradiction in it as well.
A book near and dear to my heart The Yellow Star By Carmen Agra Deedy. Although the story is not true, it still speaks of my people’s fight against the Nazi occupation and opens up great conversations. The tough question is when King Christian wonders what can be done to fight the yellow stars.
What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada is a book I use a lot in the classroom as it is great for inferencing, and inspiring creativity, but it also works well for this strategy as it starts out with tough questions and then has several more further in.
The Numberlys By William Joyce and Christina Ellis has several tough questions and is definitely a great way to highlight conflict.
The tough question is not posed as a question in Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine but instead as a desire to be free. I would use this later in the strategy to teach students that tough questions are not always in a question format.
Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley only has one question int it but it will lead to great questions and will also be a great inference exercise.
Crowd Sourced Ideas
Which ones did we miss?
If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. The 2nd edition and actual book-book (not just e-book!) just came out!