Today my students were reading a chapter in our new novel. While they were reading they were asked to answer some questions. Once of these questions was as follows:
Activate your background knowledge [one of our current thinking strategies] to figure out the day/date that Hunter is referring to when he says, "I looked up and saw American flags flapping in the wind as they hung from the fire escapes. No one had to tell anyone to hang them up. That day, everyone just did it."
Now here is a conversation I had with one of my "gifted" students:
Him: "So, I don't think I get this questions. Is it 1918?"
Me: "Well, let's think a minute: What is the setting for our novel?"
Him: [After looking this up, because he didn't know, even though we discussed this, and even wrote it on our giant plot line in the classroom yesterday]. "New York....Ohhhhhhh....so the Great Depression?"
Me: [Baffled. Trying to gather my thoughts and think of a way to further question him to help him come up with the answer]. "This happened in your life time."
Him: "Ohhhhh.....World War II."
No Child Left Behind? Seriously?