Ask questions to clarify information about topics and texts under discussion.

Learning Outcome:

Listen actively and adjust the use of spoken language (e.g., vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

I Can Statements Question Stems
-I can ask questions during discussions to clarify information.

-What questions do you have after listening or reading?
-Were any parts of the topic or text unclear?
-What would you like to know more about?
-What are you wondering about?

Academic Vocabulary


Practical Examples, Standards, and Digital Resources

Reading Examples Writing Examples Speaking and Listening Examples
-Have students turn and talk with questions about what they heard or read.

-Lead small group discussions about the topic or text.

-Facilitate class discussions based on a topic or text.

-Before, during, or after writing, encourage students to share their written questions or to write a response to others' questions. -Create an environment where students feel welcome to respond to the thoughts and ideas of others. Allow time for discussion throughout the day across all subject areas.

-Students share their ideas on a topic or text with a peer group.

-Allow discussion starters to be accessible to students. Model and give ample practice time using these starters.

Reading Standards Writing Standards Speaking and Listening Standards
Digital Resources

-Discussion Stems

-Sentence Starters

-Question Stems

English Learner Considerations

The English Learner considerations, which were written by Indiana EL teachers, are meant to increase engagement and support growth for ELs.They are designed to support the standards and curriculum you are currently using. The following are recommendations of best practices to assist educators in making language more accessible for English Learners. Educators should adapt strategies based upon a student’s proficiency level and ensure that content is age-appropriate.

Additional strategies and the guiding principles regarding literacy instruction for English Learners.

Beginning Intermediate Advanced

-provide lists of useful words or phrases
-guide conversations or provide frames
-use choral response
-encourage one word responses or phrases
-provide grammatical sentence structure support
-utilize frequent comprehension checks
-use appropriate rate of speech

-provide targeted vocabulary
-use choral response
-encourage sentence-level conversations
-provide grammatical sentence structure support

-use more academic vocabulary
-encourage longer, flowing discourse

Special Education Considerations

The special education considerations, which were written by Indiana special education teachers, are meant to increase engagement and support growth for students in special education. This is not an exhaustive list of strategies, but these supports will help you make literacy instruction more accessible for students. Remember to adapt these to the needs of your students and ensure that you are creating opportunities for all students to engage with rigorous content.

Guiding principles regarding literacy instruction for students in special education.

Strategy  Examples

Allow “Student of the Week” to speak and peers to listen; praise good listening behaviors such as maintaining eye contact, facing the speaker, being an active listener, …

Provide a wiggle seat for a student who may need extra support

Present a video to support the standards being taught in content area

Students collaborate in small groups to discuss what they learned

Model how to ask questions for clarification

In small groups, practice asking questions

Provide sentence starters for asking questions (for example, “I wonder…”)

Introduce unknown words before students read text

Provide pictures of words and discuss meanings

Students draw pictures of vocabulary words

Act out the definition of the word

Provide a mnemonic device to remember the word and its meaning

Identify unknown words during independent reading

Model highlighting unknown words

Students use sticky notes or highlighters to identify unknown words

Model strategies of what good readers do when they encounter unknown words