I’ve loved using Thick and Thin Questions as long as I’ve been teaching reading. When I shared them with my faculty at a professional development workshop on informational text last year, I was amazed at how few people had heard of them—and at their enthusiasm for implementing the practice: “Finally,” they said, “an easy way to really let the students do the work.” And quality work at that!
I developed this set of resources after that inservice to give teachers some support using the Thick & Think Questions, even when they are not quite sure about “teaching reading.” The “Q & A” portion (back side of the handouts/bookmarks) helps students to focus their questioning, guiding them to the heart of the text and reminding them to cite their sources—both of which are critical skills in this era of using complex text to elicit higher order thinking.
I've included three versions of the handout--one for informational text, one for literary text, and one for both--and a bookmark. I've provided strategies for teaching your students to question what they read and suggestions for using the student-developed questions in class.
I hope you’ll find, as I have, that this seemingly simple strategy helps students dig deeper into texts and to develop their own close reading skills.