Thursday, November 18, 2010

FAQs for Prestwick House Levels of Understanding

The newest product line from Prestwick House, Levels of Understanding, will hit shelves this January. This title-specific series is based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helps students learn to independently evaluate literature. Instead of teaching your students how to answer questions about a particular text, help them develop the skills to critically evaluate literature without relying on outside guidance.

Using Bloom’s learning domains, Levels of Understanding breaks down complex questions into smaller parts and outline the
steps necessary for students to develop a sound evaluation of a text. Students will begin with the most basic and fundamental skill, comprehension, move on to reader response, analysis, and synthesis, and gradually build to the highest skill, evaluation.

Not only will these guides help you prepare your students for standardized tests like the AP Language and Literature exam, the SATs, and the ACTs, but they will also give students the self-assurance to develop and articulate a personal assessment of the text — a skill that will be advantageous in college and beyond.

What do you mean by “levels of understanding”?

Each section of this guide—which may be divided by scenes, acts, chapters, or groups of chapters—contains five types of questions that are representative of Bloom’s learning domains, starting with the most basic and fundamental skill, knowledge and comprehension, and gradually building to the highest skill, evaluation.

The five types of question are as follows:

Comprehension – will ask the most basic questions to ascertain the students’ fundamental understanding of the text, such as plot facts and character identification.

Reader Response – will ask the students to “respond” to the text by relating it to personal experience or presenting an opinion on a character or event.

Analysis – will require students to study how various techniques and literary or theatrical devices (e.g., diction, symbolism, imagery, metaphors, asides, or soliloquies) function in the text. Analysis questions do not ask the student to merely identify or define a literary, theatrical, or rhetorical device, but to also explain its significance.

Synthesis – will bridge the gap between the analysis and evaluation questions, requiring students to look at other scenes in the text and draw conclusions about themes, motifs, or a writer’s style. Often, a synthesis question will require students to draw on prior knowledge—what has been learned in class or through research—and/or information from sources other than the literary title in order to arrive at a satisfactory answer.

Evaluation – will ask the student to make a qualitative judgment on the text and determine whether a particular aspect of it is effective or ineffective.

The intent of this product is to help students not only gain a better understanding of an individual text, but to aid them in developing skills to critically analyze and evaluate literature in general.

Who is the intended audience of this product?

This product can be used with classes of all ability levels, from remedial to honors. The teacher can decide which questions the students should answer, depending on the class’s goals and objectives.

Additionally, since the questions focus on the text itself, the overall difficulty level of the product will match the complexity of the book or play.

How many questions are in a unit?

The number of questions in a unit depends on the length and complexity of the specific title being studied. Generally, there are 2-5 questions for each of the levels per section.

Are these units reproducible?

Yes. Each major division of the text begins on a new page so that you need to copy only the specific parts you want.

Are these units downloadable?

Yes, these units are available for download in PDF form.

What Common Core Standards does Levels of Understanding meet?

The following table lists the Anchor Common Core Standards that this product meets:

Reading Literature: Key Ideas and Details1,2,3
Reading Literature: Craft and Structure4,5,6
Reading Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas9
Reading Literature: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity10
Writing: Text Types and Purposes1,2
Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing4
Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge9
Language: Knowledge of Language3
Language: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use4,5

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