No Series: Designing Leveled Questions

Designing Leveled Questions

Lesson Objective: Build understanding through a series of questions
All Grades / All Subjects / Scaffolding


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Thomas consider learning goals when planning questions to ask?
  2. What strategies does Ms. Thomas use to scaffold understanding?
  3. How does making connections help students apply their learning?


  • Private message to Jolene Pisel

I like how Ms. Thomas asks the third question about society to help her students make that personal connection. Students of all ages like to be involved and engaged personally.

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to MIchelle Esposito
I like how she built on the questions to provide students with context and a foundation for subsequent questions that required them to think more deeply about the topic. Having the students relate the topic to their own experiences by focusing on larger themes makes the learning more meaningful to students because it brings it home for them; it becomes personal.
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  • Private message to Jennifer Hall
Questioning strategies are always an opportunity to delve into the subject and create a learning environment not only for the students that answer but for those listening.
Recommended (1)
  • Private message to tammy schofield
I like how the teacher provides a support system by asking specific questions like: "What information is provided in the text, what information is left out, and how does it pertain to us as individuals and members of society?
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Christy Thompson
Awesome Video! Her technique for higher order of thinking is a wonderful idea that I can implement in my classroom.
Recommended (1)


  • Designing Leveled Questions Transcript

    +++ 00:00:07 +++
    Card: Strategies: Designing Leveled Questions.

    Lower Third: Jamila Thomas
    MAPS (Methods of Academic

    Designing Leveled Questions Transcript

    +++ 00:00:07 +++
    Card: Strategies: Designing Leveled Questions.

    Lower Third: Jamila Thomas
    MAPS (Methods of Academic & Personal Success)
    Cedar Hill Collegiate High School, Cedar Hill, Texas
    Jamila Thomas: I've designed questions based on what I want them to learn. So I think about the end in mind. What do I want them to get from the questions that are being asked? What concepts, what ideas, what themes that were presented that I think are the most important messages that need to be conveyed to them.
    Jamila Thomas: You were asked to think about the documentary, "The Pact," about these three amazing doctors who overcame certain obstacles and certain things that were presented in front of them.

    +++ 00:00:38 +++
    Jamila Thomas: The first step is a question that they're given that pretty much, any of them can answer.
    Jamila Thomas: What truths are presented in the documentary?
    Student: One was self-reliance. One of the doctors went to juvenile and he didn't have a support system in juvenile, so he had to self-rely on his own determination.
    Jamila Thomas: The second question builds upon the first question and I want something a little bit more specific.
    Jamila Thomas: How are these truths presented to the viewers? What information does it put forward? And what information is left out?

    +++ 00:01:13 +++
    Student: The information that was left out, we said Malik's future, because it didn't tell us what he did after the documentary.
    Jamila Thomas: And then the third question is always the question that has to do with society, something that's going on in the world around them, something that's going on with them personally, because I want them to make that personal connection.
    Jamila Thomas: Can you relate to this viewpoint, or at least understand where it's coming from? And how does it relate to your collegiate experience? You may not necessarily have gangs, but you all have what?

    +++ 00:01:40 +++
    Student: Cliques.
    Jamila Thomas: Cliques, there you go. You all have cliques.
    Jamila Thomas: When a student makes a personal connection, it resonates with them and they'll remember how it pertains to them, how it relates to them, and ultimately, that's where the learning starts.
    Student: This is what Collegiate's all about.
    Jamila Thomas: Good ears.

School Details

Cedar Hill High School
1 Longhorn Boulevard
Cedar Hill TX 75104
Population: 1670

Data Provided By:



Jamila Thomas


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