Thursday, June 10, 2010


This morning we talked about how to help our students write good theme statements. Our presenter called her process 2Q2T or Two Questions to Theme.

First question:
What is this (story, poem, letter, speech, play, piece, etc.) about?

Here students generate a list of topics for whatever it was they read. We read the poem "Dandelions" by Deborah Austin. Some of the topics we generated for this poem were

  • war
  • flowers
  • weeds
  • gardening
  • warfare
The answer to the first question is plugged into the second question where it says topic.

Second Question
What is AUTHOR trying to say about TOPIC?

If I choose to talk about war then my question looks like this:

What is Austin trying to say about war?

In "Dandelions," Austin is trying to say that in war situations, soldiers never give up.

From here, students answer their questions, which becomes the claim sentence for their claim-evidence-commentary paragraphs.

Below, my notes. Glean from them whatever you can.

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